moderna vaccines
Moderna's logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken Nov. 9. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Long Island’s initial allocation of Covid-19 vaccines has increased to about 69,600 doses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today, after the U.S. Food And Drug Administration’s advisory committee recommended emergency approval of the Moderna vaccine last night.

That means roughly 43,100 Moderna vaccines will be shipped to Long Island distribution facilities, part of the 346,000 going out statewide, after the state receives them next week. Long Island has also been allocated about 26,500 Pfizer vaccines which are already being given to high-risk hospital workers as part of phase one.

“The vaccines are going to be distributed medically, not politically,” Cuomo said. “It’s going to be done by medical facilities, so there will be no politics in the distribution.”

State health officials originally believed that each vial of vaccine held five doses. However, as the rollout began this week, administers are finding they can get one or two more doses out of each vial. Therefore, the number of doses allocated to each region could increase by 20 to 40 percent, officials said.

So far, 19,000 New Yorkers have been vaccinated. Beginning on Monday, vaccines will be administered to nursing home staff and residents by CVS and Walgreens staff.

“Our team is optimistic about a safe, effective vaccine that will ensure the health and well-being of our residents, as well as those who are on the frontline of care,” said Stuart B. Almer, president and CEO at Gurwin Healthcare System, which runs Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack. “We are most hopeful of the promise the vaccine holds to reunite residents with their families.”

Phase two of the vaccine distribution, which Northwell Health will facilitate on Long Island, will include essential workers and priority general public, which covers those with pre-existing medical conditions that put them at risk for Covid-19.

Long Island’s Covid-19 positivity rate is 6.08 percent, according to the state’s data, which is a calculated 7-day average. There are 1,007 Covid-19 patients hospitalized on Long Island, which is .04 percent of the population.

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus

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