(Reuters) – The White House will raise the federal government’s planned increase in the supply of COVID-19 vaccine to states to 20% over three weeks, up from a prior pledge of 16%, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday.
“The increase is now going to go from 16 to about 20 percent as a direct allocation,” Cuomo told a news conference following a call between governors and the White House. “The state will then turn around and supply 20 percent additional to the local governments.”
The federal government has also promised to provide additional supply to private pharmacies, which at a rate of 10 percent of a state’s total allocation will lead to another 30,000 doses allocated to New York, Cuomo said.
Given the increase in supply, Cuomo said he would allow local health officials to expand eligibility to include restaurant workers, taxi drivers and residents of developmentally disabled facilities.
Still, Cuomo said the approximately 300,000 doses received each week was not enough for a state with 7 million people currently eligible for the vaccine.
“We have the distribution, we just don’t have the product. The shelves are empty,” he said.
(reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Alexandra Hudson)