New York State expects to run out of its supply of coronavirus vaccines before the end of Friday, but more doses will begin to arrive in the coming days, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced at a news conference.
“We will — by the end of today fully — utilize all of the dosages that have been delivered,” Mr. Cuomo said Friday.
Ninety-seven percent of New York State’s vaccine inventory, accumulated over the past five weeks, has been administered, the governor noted, and a total of 28,000 first doses were left in inventory Friday morning. Mr. Cuomo added that the state inoculates roughly 80,000 people per day, meaning the full supply could be exhausted as soon as midday Friday.
Mr. Cuomo urged vaccine providers to only schedule appointments based on the number of doses they know they will receive.
“Some providers think if they schedule appointments ahead of time, people will feel more comfortable — not if you cancel those appointments,” Mr. Cuomo said. “So don’t schedule any appointment unless you know you have an approved state allocation coming, and appointments will be honored. “
Mr. Cuomo also expressed concern over the new virus variants.. So far, New York State has found 25 confirmed cases of the more contagious variant prevalent in Britain, but no cases of the variants found in South Africa or Brazil, he said.
New York State should receive 250,400 vaccine doses for use next week, with some arriving Friday. If supply allowed, New York State could inoculate 700,000 people each week, Mr. Cuomo said.
On Friday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a letter to President Biden requesting the “flexibility” to use reserved second doses to vaccinate more New Yorkers sooner.
“While maintaining a secure reserve of second doses (two-week supply), the City is seeking the flexibility during this time to temporarily use the remaining supply of second doses to bridge the gap to a time of increased production, replenishing the second dose supply as production ramps,” Mr. de Blasio’s letter read.
But it was not immediately clear whether the Biden administration could guarantee the increase in supply necessary to replenish those second doses. Federal health officials and corporate executives agree that it will be impossible to increase supply before April because of the lack of manufacturing capacity. And the current vaccination effort, which had little central direction under the Trump administration, has so far sown confusion and frustration. Some areas are complaining they are running out of doses, while others have unused vials sitting on shelves.
When asked about Mr. de Blasio’s request and New York’s dwindling supply of doses during Friday’s new conference, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the administration has “advocated for releasing additional access from the reserves, but we have really deferred to health and medical experts” about whether it was safe to delay second doses past the tested three to four-week window. She added that the Biden administration has “asked the C.D.C. to look into what the options are.”
According to a senior administration official, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are on track to deliver up to 18 million doses a week. Together, they have pledged to deliver 200 million doses by the end of March.
A third vaccine maker, Johnson & Johnson, is due to report the results of its clinical trial shortly. If approved, that vaccine would also help shore up production. If all of that supply were used, the nation could average well over two million shots a day.
In April and afterward, the outlook brightens. Pfizer and Moderna have each committed to supply another 100 million doses by the end of July; the companies may be able to provide even more. A week ago, Pfizer and BioNTech, its German partner, increased their global production target for the year to two billion doses from 1.3 billion doses.