In a recent report concerning New York State and its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo takes a controversial stance; he will not take the COVID-19 vaccine until all races of people in his age group can be vaccinated first.
Cuomo said, “As we move into this New Year, one of our most pressing challenges, along with maintaining our diligence in stopping the spread of the virus, will be to ensure that the vaccine is made available fairly.” The Governor continued, “COVID has exposed many of the existing injustices in our society, most notably that racism is, without a doubt, a public health crisis. Case and point – data has continued to show that despite higher infection and death rates in the Black and Latino communities, testing has remained more widely available in white communities. I refuse to let race or income determine who lives and who dies in New York, and I mean it. That’s why as we work to break down barriers and ensure vaccine access for all, I will not take the vaccine until it is available for my age group in Black, Hispanic, and poor communities around the state.”
With New York State surpassing one million positive confirmed cases and NYC as an epicenter of the pandemic, many wonder when the vaccine will be available for the general public. As of now, the vaccine is only available to first responders such as EMT and EMS workers, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who may come in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
Low-income, Black, and Latino populations have become disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to health care issues and other factors.
According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, 299,087 new cases of COVID-19 were registered on Sunday for a total of more than 20.4 million. The states with the largest number of new cases are California, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and New York. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that about 13 million doses of vaccine have been distributed across the country, and 4.2 million people have received their first dose.
“Until the vaccine is available in the South Bronx, and the East Side of Buffalo, and Wyandanch, and South Jamaica, and Edgerton and East Utica — our health care deserts — our job is not done,” Cuomo said. “I’ll do my part, but you have to do your part. We all need to have faith and trust in the vaccine, and we need to have generosity in our souls, where we act for the good of one another.”