Much of New York’s elderly population, including many in high-risk nursing homes, are still waiting to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Yet Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo has bumped up priority for drug addicts in rehab facilities, who will start to get vaccinations this week.
“Recovering addicts in residential rehab facilities will be among those vaccinated against the coronavirus this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo obliquely revealed Monday,” The New York Post reported Monday.
According to the Post, the New York Association of Substance Abuse Providers had lobbied for addicts in rehab facilities to get vaccinated.
The news of Cuomo’s new prioritization for the vaccine promoted angered responses from New Yorkers online, including from those still waiting for their elderly family members to receive the vaccination. The elderly, of course, are far and away the most at-risk population on average to suffer complications from the virus, including death.
Cuomo has faced criticism for authorizing an order early on in the pandemic to force COVID-positive longterm care residents back to their care facilities, resulting in deaths estimated into the thousands, if not more.
The Associated Press, which conducted its own data analysis, suggested in August that the state was severely undercounting nursing home deaths, perhaps by as much as 65%.
Earlier this month, Cuomo announced that his next 80,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine would go to residents of long-term care facilities. In his state’s vaccination plan, the elderly in long-term care facilities are also named in “Phase 1.” However, Cuomo has apparently made room for the addicts in rehabilitation centers.