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How many COVID vaccine doses has New York received, administered? Here's the latest by region

David Robinson
New York State Team

The race to get more COVID-19 vaccine shots into arms of New Yorkers has varied regionally as the state surpassed the milestone of administering 1 million doses, new data show.

New York had administered 919,870 doses, or 77% of the 1,190,150 doses it has received from the federal government, according to the state’s new COVID-19 vaccine tracker website as of Tuesday morning. Another 105,000 doses have been administered to nursing home residents and staff in New York under a federal program, state officials said.

But some regions fared better in terms of vaccination efficiency, with the Southern Tier leading the way by administering 28,578 of its 29,400 doses, or 97%, the state data show.

The Southern Tier's COVID-19 mass vaccination site opened in Johnson City on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 10 Gannett Drive. The vaccination site is run by New York State.

In contrast, the Finger Lakes region, including the Rochester area, distributed 82% of 77,150 doses, followed by the Mid-Hudson region at 75% of 111,925 doses, and the Mohawk Valley at 70% of 29,850 doses.

The state is distributing doses among the regions based on population of eligible people, which amounts to about 7.1 million people statewide and includes those 65 and above as well as various essential workers, such as police, firefighters, teachers and health care workers.

New York’s recent release of more detailed vaccine statistics offered a more complete picture of the historic immunization push, despite concerns about supply shortages since eligibility was expanded last week that have triggered a chaotic scramble to book vaccination appointments.

“A stressor on this entire situation, and a stressor on people across the state, is the federal government increased eligibility dramatically, but never increased the supply of the dosages,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday during a press briefing.

What to know about COVID vaccine numbers in New York

Dutchess County residents receive their first Covid-19 vaccination in the old JCPenny's at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Jan. 15, 2021.

Meanwhile, state officials have addressed differences between COVID vaccine statistics being released by New York’s Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.

For example, CDC’s vaccine tracker shows the federal government had distributed nearly 1.9 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to New York by Friday morning, of which 757,466 doses had been administered.

That reflected a vaccination rate of about 40%, as opposed to the 77% reported by the state’s tracker this week.

More: When will NY receive enough COVID vaccine doses to meet demand? Here's the latest

More: Trouble scheduling a COVID vaccine in NY? You're not alone. Here's what to know.

The state’s tracker noted the CDC statistics include a total number of doses reserved for New York state to date, inclusive of doses reserved for the federally-run long term care facility program and doses scheduled for shipment to the state for the current or subsequent week.

The state tracker only includes all weekly dose allocations fully received by New York State health care distribution sites, which include hospitals, pharmacies, mass-vaccination sites and other locations registered as points of distribution, such as medical offices.

Further, the state tracker includes the number of second doses administered, with 136,500 New Yorkers completing the two-dose regimen required to ensure the vaccines are fully effective.

Amid the mixed state and federal messages, experts asserted the lack of strong leadership at the national level has led to a messy COVID-19 vaccine distribution rollout so far, but it should improve under the Biden administration, USA TODAY reported.

"Federal leadership failed to prepare fully to neutralize this pandemic. They concentrated on the vaccine with much less regard to vaccination," said Dr. Kelly Moore, deputy director of the nonprofit Immunization Action Coalition. "There’s a need for stability, reliability, and a process people can trust."

How many New Yorkers declining to take COVID vaccine

Patients meet with health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Westchester County Center Jan. 13, 2021 in White Plains. The center opened today as one of the first three mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in New York state.

Despite the crush of New Yorkers seeking shots, mounting signs of vaccine hesitancy among segments of the population have raised concerns about reaching the goal of vaccinating between 70% and 90% of the population to achieve herd immunity and starve the coronavirus.

For example, a total of about 65,000 nursing home workers and residents have declined to take COVID-19 vaccines, or close to 28% of the 225,000 total people at the long-term care facilities most vulnerable to the respiratory disease, state officials said, adding the unused doses will be reallocated across the state based on population. The vast majority of those refusing the shot were nursing home workers, state officials said.

More: COVID-19 cases fall in New York, but not as quickly as the rest of the nation

More: COVID vaccine hesitancy threatens push to end pandemic. How experts say NY can stop it

Vaccine hesitancy among health care workers has also been a concern due to their heightened risk of contracting and spreading the virus, with early vaccine refusal rates in December as high as 30% at some hospitals, state and New York City officials have said. Experts anticipate vaccine reluctance among health care workers and the general public will wane as millions of doses are administered with limited serious side effects.

So far, only about 60% of nurses and doctors statewide in New York have received at least the first in the two-shot COVID-19 vaccine regimen, Cuomo said Monday.

Some hospitals have performed poorly at boosting vaccination efficiency in part due to management issues, Cuomo added, noting facilities getting shots out faster would receive more doses than slower ones in the future.   

USA TODAY contributed to this report.

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David Robinson is the state health care reporter for the USA TODAY Network New York. He can be reached atdrobinson@gannett.com and followed on Twitter:@DrobinsonLoHud