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Defying common sense, Andrew Cuomo’s crazy vaccine rules bring ‘chaos’

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Defying common sense, Andrew Cuomo’s crazy vaccine rules bring ‘chaos’ 1

“Chaos” and “bedlam”: That’s how county executives describe the results of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s vaccination plan.

The gov’s obsessive, iron-handed micromanagement has New York trailing even West Virginia in getting jabs into arms. Yet the administration is still admonishing clinics for giving doses they’d otherwise trash to people not yet “approved” to receive them.

The Post’s Hannah Frishberg was offered a vaccine while at a clinic to get tested because a dose was left with no one else to receive it before it expired. Cuomo’s Department of Health now says it’s “looking into this possible violation” — in other words, it wants to punish a clinic for giving a vaccine to a New Yorker rather than throwing it in the trash.

Local leaders blasted state officials in a Monday conference call reported by Albany’s Times Union (though the state tried to keep the press off the call). County executives “expressed frustration at what they described as a continuing breakdown in information-sharing, a shortage of doses and overlapping and redundant efforts to vaccinate the first two groups who are authorized to receive the shots,” the paper reported.

“Our phone lines are melting down,” Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin said. “What am I supposed to do with 100 vaccines with 160,000 people?” He and another exec noted teachers’ unions were able to get their members signed up en masse, leaving few if any spots for others eligible.

The leaders also complained the state isn’t certifying clinics, doctors and paramedics to administer vaccines fast enough. One said the state “is cannibalizing the counties’ vaccine distribution by opening up new locations and redirecting vaccines to those locations” with no notice.

Across New York, people say they had to wait on hold for hours to schedule appointments only to be cut off, while others get busy signals or have their calls unanswered. The Web site’s a disaster, too.

Under prodding from the feds and the public, Cuomo on Tuesday finally made everyone 65 and over eligible, weeks after states such as Florida and Texas had. He’d only made over-75s eligible starting Monday, putting groups such as addicts in rehab at the head of the line along with frontline health workers and nursing-home residents and staff.

Cuomo complains about the feds’ “intelligence,” yet he has simultaneously threatened providers with six-figure fines if they don’t use up their doses and seven-figure ones if they give doses to anyone ineligible under his rules.

Until he loosens up, New York’s vaccination effort will continue to be a disaster.

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