COVID-19 Update on Vaccine and Distribution

Throughout the pandemic, the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University (IFS) has answered questions around the risks associated with food production with useful links to expert resources to ensure that a safe and robust food supply is maintained. Recent installments of their Virtual Office Hours have focused on the COVID-19 vaccine.

During this week’s episode, Anika Gianforte addressed some common COVID-19 vaccination concerns.

Last month, IFS had Dr. Martin Wiedmann, Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety, review the development of the COVID-19 vaccines and their rollout, which you can watch on YouTube.

New York State is still in the initial Phase 1b of its phased distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The first rollout of NYS Phase 1b will include the listed populations on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution website. As was the case with Phase 1a, the list of eligible New Yorkers in Phase 1b will be expanded further over time. The state continues to remind New Yorkers that the federal government determines how much vaccine New York State receives. Currently, the federal government has only given New York approximately 250,000 vaccines/week for over 7 million people who are eligible — as a result, supply is very limited.

According to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, “food and agricultural essential workers” will eventually be designated in Phase 1b. The state recommends you continue to check the Governor’s website for further announcements regarding the inclusion of new groups in NYS Phase 1b as increased supply becomes available. You can also sign-up for updates on the COVID response on the website.

In preparation for vaccine distribution, NYS has also launched a new “Am I Eligible” app to help New Yorkers determine their eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, connect them with administration centers, and schedule appointments. This eligibility app is only applicable to essential workers in the current distribution phases.

Vaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments statewide – please contact your provider of choice to schedule your vaccine appointment. Additionally, there is a network of state-run sites distributing the vaccine statewide. An appointment is required to receive the vaccine.

COVID-19 is still a threat to our state so please continue to follow the necessary steps to “Stop the Spread” and remain diligent.

We will provide updates as more details are made available and distribution expands.

Kacey Deamer

Kacey is the Communications Manager for the Cornell Small Farms Program. In this role, she manages all storytelling and outreach across the program’s website, social media, e-newsletter, magazine and more. Kacey has worked in communications and journalism for more than a decade, with a primary focus on science and sustainability.