NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- New York State is encouraging eligible New Yorkers to take the required trainings to become vaccinators and support the state's COVID-19 vaccination program, said an official release issued on Friday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order expanding the eligible pool of trainees who can administer vaccinations at a "POD site" (flexible vaccination sites that can be set up in any community) pursuant to a non-patient specific order provided they first receive training.
These include licensed practical nurses (LPNs), pharmacists who are not certified to administer immunizations by SED (State Education Department), midwives who are not certified to administer immunizations by SED, dentists, dental hygienists, podiatrists, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), advanced EMTs, and students in eligible education programs (medicine, nursing, physician assistant (PA), pharmacy, dentistry, podiatry, and midwifery).
All POD sites must have oversight from or be approved by NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health) or the applicable Local Health Department, and must have medical oversight by a licensed physician, licensed PA, or certified nurse practitioner (NP).
Meanwhile on Friday, the governor tweeted that "We are working with the incoming Biden administration and hope that the supply from the federal government dramatically increases. The supply MUST increase and we are expanding our distribution network to be ready."
"Starting Monday, NYS will begin scheduling vaccinations for the next group of people (Phase 1B): People age 75+, Education workers, First responders (police, fire), Public transit workers and Public safety workers," said the governor in another tweet. "Sites will include pharmacies, doctors' offices, Javits Center & more."
"Without increased supply we expect it will take 14 weeks to vaccinate the Phase 1A and 1B groups. That would take us to April 16," he added.
On Thursday, New York State clarified that healthcare workers who are on the front lines should be the priority group, classified as "1A" in the distribution plan, to receive COVID-19 vaccination, according to an official statement.
Once those healthcare workers who want to accept a vaccine are afforded the opportunity, vaccinations go to the "1B" category which includes essential workers including police, firefighters and 75-plus year old New Yorkers who have the highest death rate from COVID-19, it said.
The 1B category includes approximately 3 million people statewide and the state will utilize a variety of non-governmental agencies to administer those vaccines including pharmacies, private doctor networks, and community groups serving underserved communities, it added.
As of Friday afternoon, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 39,155 coronavirus deaths in New York State, the worst in the country.