New York to Fine Hospitals That Fail to Deploy COVID-19 Vaccine Within a Week

(Reuters) -
Governor Andrew Cuomo provides the  latest COVID-19 updates in Albany, December 30th, 2020. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

New York state will begin fining hospitals that do not administer allotted COVID-19 vaccines within a week of receiving their supplies and will decline to provide them with further doses, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference on Monday.

The U.S. federal government has distributed more than 13 million vaccine doses to states and territories around the country, but only around 4 million have actually been administered, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last updated on Saturday.

New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker notified hospitals of the potential actions in a letter on Sunday, Cuomo told reporters.

“I don’t want the vaccine in a fridge or a freezer, I want it in somebody’s arm,” he said. “If you’re not performing this function, it does raise questions about the operating efficiency of the hospital.”