Questions locally about distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said pending regulatory approval, 170,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be in New York State on December 15th. But it’s unclear when any doses will enter Erie County.

“I don’t know the date in which it would be received and the total amount that would be received in Erie County,” said County Executive Mark Poloncarz during a coronavirus briefing Wednesday afternoon.

Cuomo said nursing home residents and staff are “at the top of the first tranche” when it comes to vaccine prioritization. An expected shipment of the vaccine from Moderna could account for the remainder of the 210,000 residents and staff members, the governor said.

Erie County is home to 4,000 nursing home residents, Poloncarz said. But he doesn’t yet know how the vaccine would get to the region for distriubtion to those people.

“I don’t know the transportation, where the vaccine would go,” Poloncarz said.

“It’s likely it would go to the Wadsworth Lab in Albany first,” he added.

Poloncarz did say they are prepared to store the vaccine. There is even discussion that Erie County may store batches of the vaccine for adjoining counties.

“Erie County is very lucky in that we have a number of sites that have extra cold storage capability, cryogenic capability. So we are much better off than other places,” he said.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.

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