Poloncarz unsure when COVID-19 vaccine will reach WNY, first doses expected to be sent to nursing homes

Coronavirus

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)– Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he does not know when the first doses of the vaccine will reach our area.

Out of those first 170,000 Pfizer doses, the County Executive said he doesn’t know how many of them will come here.

Poloncarz said he doesn’t know the date that they will arrive.

Governor Cuomo and his Budget Director Robert Mujica said today those doses will be going to nursing homes across the state.

There are about 210,000 nursing home residents and staff statewide.

Between the Pfizer doses and Moderna doses that are expected soon after, the expectation is the state can cover all nursing homes statewide.

The Governor also expects people will decline to take the vaccine

In Erie County, there are 4,000 nursing home residents.

“We’ve received information that the state will receive it on December 15. I don’t know if they then intend to distribute it out. That is a date that I would not say is certain because it still requires FDA approval and then the immediate issuance of the vaccine.”

Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive

The Governor has said he expects by the end of December, 40 million doses of the vaccine will have been made available nationwide.

Being a two-dose vaccine, that means 20 million people could be vaccinated by the end of the year.

That would cover just 6% of Americans.

The County Executive says until people are vaccinated everyone needs to continue to follow mask-wearing and social distancing rules.

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