Curran calls on federal government to fix COVID-19 vaccine supply chain
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has called on the federal government to fix the supply chain of the COVID-19 vaccine.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, the county said even though more than 50,000 people have been given the first dose, it seems there are not enough shots to go around at some facilities.
"Unfortunately, Nassau University Medical Center, like other facilities administering the vaccine here in the county, is facing a shortage of doses and is waiting for shipments," said Curran. "The supply chain starts at the federal government. It's a supply chain, it goes right up to the federal government, comes through the states and goes down to the local level."
Curran says Nassau University Medical Center has thousands of vaccine appointments scheduled through February, but the hospital will run out of shots Thursday.
"We are out of vaccine, at least the first dose, as of tomorrow afternoon," says Dr. Anthony Boutin, NUMC's chief medical officer.
So far, NUMC has vaccinated 4,500 staff members.
In Suffolk, officials say the vaccine supply lasted just four days before it had to shut down a vaccination pod at Suffolk Community College for health care workers.
"We went through our entire supply of vaccines, more than 2,500, in just four days from last Wednesday through Saturday and we've been waiting for additional supply," says Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone.
Once they do get more vaccine, Bellone says they can give more than 1,500 vaccinations a day, with the ability to ramp up to 5,000 a day countywide.
"We need that supply to ramp up from the federal government, so it can get here to the localities. At the end of the day, this is the way we are going to get past this pandemic," says Bellone.
In a statement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, "At the end of the day, this is a supply issue, and we need the federal government to provide us with more vaccine as quickly as possible because there is simply not enough, and this is the weapon that will win the war."