Schumer: Free COVID vaccine will be available to New Yorkers


NEW YORK STATE (NEWS10) – Senator Charles Schumer said about $800 million dollars for Upstate New York and New York State, separate from New York City, is now on the way to help ensure the coronavirus vaccine and other coronavirus care efforts will be available. Schumer said local Upstate governments should not be on the hook for a single dollar related to the costs of distributing the new vaccine, along with testing or tracing for the virus.

Schumer said these federal funds will help to ensure New Yorkers can access the vaccine at local hospitals.

“The biggest thing we want to ensure about the coronavirus vaccine is universal access—no barriers—for New Yorkers,” said Schumer. “Part of the way we do that, and to ensure a free vaccine is available here in New York, centers on the federal funds we just secured in the COVID relief bill voted on late [Tuesday] night. Communities throughout Upstate will get a sizable share of over $775 million dollars to do these things, and I am here to say the money is on the way, and to get the word out about what happens next for localities as they ramp up with distribution.”

Schumer added that this funding can also go toward nursing home safety and home care.

For Upstate New York and New York State here is the dollar breakdown of the $775 million going to New York State:

  • $127M for vaccine distribution (Upstate to get a “sizable share”)
  • $648M for testing, tracing, isolation support and COVID mitigation (Upstate to get a “sizable share”)

Schumer says that state and local governments should not be spending a single dollar to test, trace, or distribute the new COVID vaccine.

The bill provides more than $22 billion, all sent directly to states, for testing, contact tracing and COVID mitigation programs. Of this total, $2.5 billion will be distributed for targeted use in high-risk and underserved populations, including communities of color, like here in New York.

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