UPDATED 11:53 AM PT – Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Governors across the country are working to ramp up coronavirus vaccine distribution.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has called on pharmaceutical companies to work directly with the state. While speaking during a press briefing on Monday, he urged the federal government to increase it’s supply of vaccines and warned vaccination rates may slow down if regulators can’t keep up with the demand.
Cuomo then told reporters he’s asked pharmaceutical company Pfizer to sell doses of its vaccine directly to the state as opposed to receiving it from the federal government.
“Pfizer is a New York company,” stated the governor. “They are headquartered here and I sent a letter asking if New York could buy directly from Pfizer.”
In statement following Cuomo’s request, Pfizer said the Health and Human Services would need to approve the proposal before the company can begin selling directly to state governments.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts opened its first large scale vaccination site. The facility, which is located at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, opened its doors Monday.
Health care workers and first responders were among the first to receive the vaccine. Officials said they hope to administer 300 doses every day this week and eventually build up to thousands of inoculations per day.
Meanwhile on the West Coast, Washington State made a surprising deal with Starbucks to aid in vaccine distribution. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced the partnership Monday, noting the coffee company has tapped 11 employees to work under the direction of state officials and health care providers.
The company has clarified it will not serve as a vaccination site, but use its technology and logistical expertise to support the creation of vaccination centers. This comes as the state expands vaccine eligibility.
“Effective immediately, Washington will move statewide to phase one B vaccinations in the first tier of phase one, B is changing so that all Washingtonians who are 65 and older will be eligible to receive vaccines starting immediately,” announced the governor.
Inslee said he hopes to vaccinate 45,000 residents a day.