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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul gets vaccinated


Lt.  Gov. Kathy Hochul received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Catholic Health in Buffalo on Friday.

Hochul said she wants to convey that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe, and just as good an option as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“I’m aware that in certain communities there’s a hesitation about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” Hochul said. “People are talking about this on social media. People are spreading rumors, lies.”

Hochul said she has “100% confidence” in all three vaccines.  

Hochul, at age 62, recently became eligible to receive the vaccine. She said she will now soon be able to visit with her father, who lives in Florida and who she has not seen in a year.

Hochul did not mention Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the event was closed to the media, so she did not answer any questions on the sexual harassment and nursing home scandals surrounding the governor.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a 72% effective rate, compared to the 90% range for Pfizer and Moderna, but is considered extremely effective in preventing severe forms of the disease.

New York state plans to offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during extended hours at some state-run sites in the coming weeks and  expand distribution as more doses are manufactured and become available.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.