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Cuomo Says NY Is Closing In On Vaccination Milestone

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking at Binghamton University April 27, 2021.
WSKG/Vaughn Golden
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Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York is one tenth of a percentage point away from his goal of 70% of New Yorkers 18 and older getting at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Cuomo says Sunday’s vaccination numbers show 69.9% of all New York residents 18 and older have received at least one dose. But the Democrat says the numbers of vaccinated vary greatly by zip code, with rates in some low income urban and rural areas as low as 38.8%. The governor says local governments need to focus on those areas and give it “one more push.”  

“Go door to door,” Cuomo said. “Go to churches, go to social events, go to community events. These are the places where we have to target to get that vaccination rate up.”  

The governor says when the state’s vaccination rate reaches 70% of people 18 and over getting at least one dose, he plans to hold a celebration. Currently, the number of adults fully vaccinated and who have received all of their required doses two or more weeks ago is lower, at 60.1%. 

Cuomo, speaking at an event in Syracuse, also announced that because of the continued low virus positivity rate, it was at .41% statewide on Sunday, the New York State Fair will open later his summer at 100% capacity. He says social distancing will still be practiced whenever possible, and unvaccinated people will be asked to wear a mask, though no one will be asked for proof of vaccination.    

“That is on the honor system,” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo and state fair officials say they will likely downsize the current mass vaccination site at the fairgrounds, and are considering scaling back other sites, where Cuomo says the activity has slowed to a “trickle.” But the governor says there will still be vaccinations available at the fair and other more targeted locations around the state. On Sunday, 617 New Yorkers remained in the hospital with COVID-19, and 7 died from the virus.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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