Cuomo says addicts in rehab facilities are next in line for coronavirus vaccine
Chuck Ross, DCNF
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that addicts in the state’s rehab facilities will be given the coronavirus vaccine this week, ahead of the general population and elderly people not living in nursing homes.
Speaking at a press conference in Albany, Cuomo said that residents in facilities operated by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, or OASAS, will be given the vaccine, as will employees at urgent care centers and health care workers administering the vaccines.
Cuomo said that the state is expected to receive 259,000 combined doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week.
The state began inoculating nursing home residents and front-line health care workers last week.
According to The New York Post, Cuomo said that OASAS is next in line for vaccinations because residents live in close quarters, as in nursing homes.
“That’s where you have a lot of people in concentration,” Cuomo said.
The Post reported that OASAS operates 12 treatment centers in the state of New York and oversees hundreds of private facilities.
“Nursing homes are obviously the most problematic because they’re congregate plus older, vulnerable people. OASAS facilities, what we call the O facilities, they’re congregate — not necessarily older — but congregate facilities.”
Cuomo came under fire earlier this year for implementing a policy which required hospitals to return nursing home patients back to their facilities even if they tested positive for coronavirus. Critics of the policy said that it led to thousands of deaths at the facilities, allegations which Cuomo has vehemently denied.
Individual states have set their own vaccine rollout plans. Some states, including Massachusetts, have announced plans to prioritize prisoners for vaccination.