NY Gov. Cuomo says the coronavirus vaccine will take 6 to 9 months to make a difference

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Wednesday that it will take between six and nine months for the coronavirus vaccine to get widespread enough to make a difference.
  • "It's a foot race over a six to nine month period," Cuomo said of the vaccine.
  • "But it's just a question of logistics and supply, and making it happen. And making it happen is hard."
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci has said there would need to be "at least 75%, hopefully close to 80, 85%" of the public to get vaccinated before life returns to some semblance of normal.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday poured cold water on the notion that life will spring back to normal now that coronavirus vaccines are beginning to roll out.

"It's a foot race over a six to nine month period," the Democrat said at his press briefing in Albany.

"We have to get the vaccination out as soon as we can," Cuomo continued. "That will bring the COVID rate down."

Read more: When can I get a coronavirus vaccine?

"But it's just a question of logistics and supply, and making it happen. And making it happen is hard."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the United States, previously said the vaccine needs to reach a portion of the public of around "at least 75%, hopefully close to 80, 85%" to render the virus irrelevant in daily life for most people.

Cuomo echoed those figures of "75 to 80%" in his press briefing, which he said will require significant government action to achieve.

"The priorities are, we need to have a public education campaign," he said.

"Right now, we have 50% of the population who says they won't take it. You cannot get to 75% without the number 50."

That would involve substantial outreach to "the communities who have paid the highest price — the Black community, the Latino community, the poor community," he said.

So far, Cuomo said 87,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have arrived in New York, a state with a population of almost 20 million.

Cuomo underscored his message of caution by illustrating the amount of effort it will take to "expedite" the distribution of the vaccine in the Empire State.

"That's trains, planes, automobiles, everything working," Cuomo said. "It's the most ambitious governmental operation that has been undertaken, period."

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