Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday presented an outline on how the state would distribute a future COVID-19 vaccine to ensure it is safe and equitably distributed, as well as undertake a public outreach campaign to ensure New Yorkers are properly informed.

Cuomo's office released the vaccination program document after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously requested states submit plans by the weekend. Cuomo and other governors still have many questions for the Trump administration on how the federal government will assist states in rolling out a vaccine when it's on the market.

But the plan is a preliminary step to keep the public informed amid mistrust in the federal government and skepticism of vaccines generally.

"Recent public opinion polls suggest that the percentage of Americans who would get the vaccine if it were available today has dropped to just over 50 percent in September from 72 percent in May, making the vaccine program’s effectiveness also dependent on the building and maintaining of public trust in the product and the process," the executive summary of Cuomo's plan reads.

The document details how the vaccination rollout would be prioritized among at-risk populations in the healthcare field or those in nursing homes.

High-risk populations and essential healthcare workers in areas with a higher rate of the virus will get the top priority, winding through six different levels of lower risk populations, other essential workers, and the general population.

The so-called priority "matrix" is further broken down into phases, depending on availability of the vaccine.

The priority matrix for NY's preliminary vaccine program.

The priority matrix for NY's preliminary vaccine program.

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The priority matrix for NY's preliminary vaccine program.
Governor's Office

Cuomo's plan calls for the vaccine to be administered at hospitals across the state as well as pharmacies, schools, local health departments and clinics, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and correction facilities.

The possibility of a dual-dose scenario is a noted challenge as well—vaccines would likely require two doses administered three to four weeks apart.

And storing vaccines in cold temperatures—possibly 80 degrees below zero—poses refrigeration equipment concerns.

The ten guiding principles for Cuomo's plan include safety and effectiveness, as well as “equitable and clinically driven distribution” once such a vaccine becomes available.

There are plenty of gaps in the current broad strokes plan. The federal government has to develop a vaccine first, and then send it out to all of the U.S. states and territories. Distribution would also require proper funding.

During Sunday's press conference in Manhattan, Cuomo said he had little confidence in the Trump administration.

The report says, “given the shortcomings of the federal response experienced since the outset of the COVID-19 epidemic, New York State will undertake necessary preparatory steps and require local coordination with the state’s centralized approach to ensure an efficient and organized vaccine distribution.”

CDC Director Robert Redfield has said states need $5.5 to $6 billion total to administer the vaccine. New York has gotten $7.8 million for vaccine programs from the federal government, according to the state Health Department, which wrote the plan. It is not clear how much the state expects a vaccine program to cost in New York alone.

Cuomo said in a statement: "We are coming up with a plan on many presumptions. We don't know how many doses we're going to get. We don't know what vaccine we're going to get. We don't know when we're going to get it. The state will have a statewide vaccination plan. We will do it in concert with the federal government. The federal government is in charge of producing the actual vaccine and distributing the vaccines."