Good Question: Why can't all doctors give the vaccine yet?

Brennan Somers
Updated: March 11, 2021 08:17 AM
Created: March 11, 2021 05:26 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)—We know it's been tough for so many of you waiting to find out when you'll qualify to get the vaccine and then scrambling to find appointments wherever you can get them if you are eligible.

Here's something News10NBC’s Brennan Somers is getting asked a lot: When will primary care doctors be able to give the COVID-19 vaccine? Why were they left out of the vaccine rollout?

Here's how it works: the federal government dictates how many doses each state gets, then states decide how those shots will be given out and where. It's all been based on priority. State officials have been focused mainly on where you can get the most vaccines in the most arms at once.

The vaccine eligibility pool is expanding over the next week allowing millions of more New Yorkers to sign up.
However, doses are still only going to state and county-managed mass vaccination set-ups, pharmacies, health care systems, and other qualified providers.

This week, News10NBC asked Dr. Nancy Bennett, the head of the Finger Lakes vaccine task force, about local doctors’ offices and when they are in line to put shots in arms.

She says they don't know at this point when primary care physicians will get doses.

The only workaround they've had so far is if your family doctor is under the umbrella of a bigger hospital group.

She says several hospitals have giving shots to primary care patients in their systems that way in larger vaccine clinics.

Somers reached out to the NYS Department of Health about this. A spokesperson sent this response:

“New York is making tremendous progress in vaccinating eligible New Yorkers despite what continues to be an insufficient supply of vaccines, and we continue to do everything possible to get as many New Yorkers vaccinated as quickly, fairly, and equitably as possible. We've established community-targeted mass vaccination sites, community-based pop-up sites, and partnerships with faith groups and community clinics. Allocations are made to ensure equity across geographic regions, the proportion of health care providers or priority populations being served, and the capacity to administer it. DOH is monitoring inventory to ensure the vaccine is administered as soon as it is received. In Western New York, over 19.3% or 266,631 people have received at least one vaccine dose and over 10.1% or 139,794 people are fully vaccinated. As supply increases from the federal government, so too will our partners, and we stand ready to get more shots into people’s arms.”

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