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New York State Vaccination Plan Overview

Governor Cuomo announced that New York State will receive an initial 170,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as early as December 15, 2020. Here are some high level updates:

CDC Toolkits, Shipping and Handling Information

The anticipated first shipments will be Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which requires ultra-cold storage, and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine will ship shortly thereafter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit to include information on COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer also recently shared a Shipping and Handling Overview and more detailed information about its thermal shipper and dry ice procurement. It is unlikely that FQHCs will get Pfizer vaccines. They will be receiving Moderna vaccine instead.

Priority Groups

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) held an emergency virtual meeting on Tuesday to discuss and vote on an interim recommendation for the initial phase (Phase 1a) of COVID-19 vaccine prioritization. ACIP voted to recommend that “when a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the FDA and recommended by ACIP, vaccination in the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program (Phase 1a) should be offered to both (1) health care personnel, and (2) residents of long-term care facilities.”

Commensurate with ACIP’s recommendation, Governor Cuomo announced on Wednesday that New York State nursing home residents will be included in the initial phase of vaccine administration. Deliberations on the allocation of the State’s initial vaccine distributions among Phase 1a priority groups are ongoing.


It is expected that State and City Departments of Health (SDOH and DOHMH) will soon issue guidance on sub-prioritizing health care workers and other essential workers.

FQHC Site Registration and Vaccine Pre-Booking

If you have not already done so, please confirm the registration of each of your health center network’s vaccination sites in 1) the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) for New York State providers outside of New York City, or 2) the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) for providers within New York City. When using these systems, health centers should have internal processes in place for entering immunization administration information and vaccine supply updates.

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