New York State has expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility on Monday to its largest adult group, including teachers, police officers, firefighters, public transit and safety workers and people aged 75 and older.
Phase 1B is comprised of an estimated 3.2 million people. The largest subset of that group includes 1.4 million people who are 75 years old and up. The next largest subset of that group is about 870,000 education workers.
The Phase 1B vaccinations follow the inoculations of more than 2.1 million healthcare workers and nursing home residents, who began getting doses in December.
As of Monday morning, nearly 20,000 people in New York City had received their second dose of the vaccine.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio have put a heavy emphasis on accelerating the vaccine rollout amid a post-holiday influx of COVID-19 patients to state hospitals.
New York State set a new record in single-day positive coronavirus tests last week.
According to the governor, New York is currently receiving 300,000 doses of the vaccine each week, meaning that the state is at least 47 weeks away from vaccinating the minimum 70 percent of people required to reach 'herd immunity' status.
But Cuomo announcement Monday during his State of the State address that his administration is designing an action plan to safely get New York beyond the most devastating COVID-19-era restrictions and begin repairing the state's economy.
"We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass," he said during the address. "The cost is too high; we will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely."
The governor said each aspect of the state's seven-point recovery plan would be revealed in more specific detail in the coming weeks.
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