Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution

Jeremy Carcamo

Covid-19 vaccines are now being produced at a massive rate all over the world. In the state of New York, we are now receiving vaccines provided by the federal government that were produced by Pfizer, BioNtech, and Moderna. New York state is administering the vaccine in phases . As of 11am on January 27, NY had received 1,304,050 first doses and already administered 96 percent or 1,246,946 of those first dose vaccinations.

The phases are split into priority categories which are “1a, 1b, and 1c.” The state is currently in 1a and initial groups from 1b. People in 1a, according to the New York State website, include the frontline workers who are in the hospitals, or people who take care of the patients such as nurses, and nursing home caretakers. As of January 11, 2021, the 1b group was eligible, including seniors over the age of 65, and some public and government workers, including teachers and first responders. They are now allowed to schedule appointments for the vaccine. 

That has proven to be very difficult as there are 7 million people currently eligible for the vaccine under the NYS guidelines, but NYS has not received nearly enough vaccinations to fulfill this demand. The Long Island distribution sites are booked for months in advance and there are no appointments in Suffolk County available on the NYS vaccine appointment website

According to the governor’s website, “ The federal government has increased the weekly supply by 16 percent but New York’s vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government.”

According to the  health organization AARP,  “Older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes, are at increased risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19.” For older adults, studies showed that they are more susceptible to COVID-19 (or at a high risk of contracting the virus) and the AARP is trying to fight for the prioritization for the older adults to get the vaccine quicker as well.

Some eligible individuals in our school have been able to get the vaccine, such as Mr. Perez, a bilingual history teacher. He said, “Scheduling an appointment was chaotic! We knew that the state of New York was going to begin offering us the vaccine starting on the eleventh, but that was all of the information we had.” 

Math teacher Ms. Barrett received the first dose of her vaccine at the Jones Beach state distribution site. She said that she waited in her car for about one hour and then got to the vaccine tent. After getting the shot, which she said, “didn’t hurt at all” she had to wait in the parking lot for fifteen minutes for monitoring and to make her second dose appointment before she could leave. She added, “My arm felt a bit sore that night, but nothing out of the ordinary. I’m going for my second dose Thursday!”

According to Mr. Perez, the duty of the people in these difficult times is to protect the vulnerable or the high risk. He said, “I feel like I have to get the vaccine out of a duty to keep all of them safe and to lead by example.” When asked if he believed in the efficacy and safety of the vaccine he said,  “Yeah. I believe in science.”