Gov. Cuomo says he doesn't "trust" the federal government when it comes to producing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.

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On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State will form an independent "Clinical Advisory Task Force" comprised of leading scientists, doctors, and health experts who will review every COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the federal government. After the review, officials will advise New York State on the vaccine's safety and effectiveness in fighting the virus.

"The federal government's response to COVID and the White House's dispute with the FDA raises serious questions about whether or not the vaccine has become politicized," Cuomo said. "Frankly, I'm not going to trust the federal government's opinion and I wouldn't recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government's opinion. We're going to put together our own review committee headed by the Department of Health to review the vaccine, and I'm appointing a committee that is going to come up with a vaccine distribution and implementation plan on how we will do it. New York's response to COVID has been a model for this country, and we should also be the model vaccination program for the country."

In addition, the Governor established a "Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force" that is charged with designing the best COVID-19 vaccination administration program in the nation. The Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force is comprised of experts in public health, immunizations, government operations, data and other fields relevant to vaccine distribution and administration.

The Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force will develop a plan for vaccine administration that will include:

  • Prioritization of vaccine recipients based solely on clinical guidance
  • Distribution network capable of providing two doses of vaccine to all New Yorkers
  • Qualified professionals and organizations to administer the vaccine
  • Data and IT infrastructure for scheduling appointments and tracking program metrics
  • Public education regarding vaccination program
  • Procurement of necessary supplies and equipment

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