In a speech to the nation Thursday night, President Joe Biden announced he would direct states to do so, much earlier than had been previously expected.
"Remember when we started, we were talking about June, July, August. The president is now talking about May 1," Cuomo said. "What that means is, in New York, 15 million people will be eligible and we have to have the capacity to address those people as quickly as possible."
Cuomo clarified that he does not expect the state to be able to vaccinate all of its residents on May 1.
"But once you tell people they are eligible, then eligibility suggests 'now I should be able to get it.' We are going to have to dramatically increase our capacity to do that because we are not at that capacity now," Cuomo said.
To encourage people to receive vaccinations, Cuomo also said he would be signing an executive order granting employees in the state, both public and private, paid time off to get a COVID-19 vaccine, up to four hours per shot.
"Our goal is to be the COVID-safe state," Cuomo said.
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