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UR Medicine to manage Phase II of vaccinations in Finger Lakes Region.


The UR Medicine logo posted on Strong Memorial Hospital (Source: Tina MacIntyre-Yee, Democrat and Chronicle)

In a news conference on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announced on Wednesday that regional hubs will be established to deliver the vaccines to essential workers and individuals with underlying medical conditions.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Source: Patrick Cashin, Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
"This is a medical operation, not a political operation, Cuomo explained. "If you remember with the COVID testing, there was a lot of back-and-forth--well, who got it first and was their favoritism, et cetera. Medical professionals are going to administer Phase 2 by state guidelines, but it's gonna be done by medical professionals."

For the Finger Lakes region, which has the highest 7-day positivity rate across all of New York State at 8.21%, the vaccine will be managed by UR Medicine. The University of Rochester's primary campus for medical education and research is also one of the largest facilities for medical treatment and research across Upstate New York.

"On the current schedule, we get to Phase 2 in late January," Cuomo explained. "Our goal, best vaccine program in the United States of America. Why is that such an ambitious goal? Because we are New Yorkers and we always set the bar high on ourselves. We want to be the first COVID-free state."

As priority healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff are currently being vaccinated as part of Phase 1, the state will also be launching "Vaccinate New York." The campaign aims to inform New Yorkers on vaccine information, safety and distribution, with the most important aspect on ensuring that the public gets vaccinated without a cost.

"No person will pay a penny for a vaccination," Cuomo explained. "We want people to be vaccinated, it shouldn't be about wealth. No one will pay a penny. And the New York State Department of Financial Services is putting out a directive today saying insurers must cover any costs of vaccination."
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