Dutchess County Executive, Marc Molinaro, says he believes the COVID-19 vaccine will be here much sooner than expected.

On Monday morning Molinaro spoke with us about the increasing amount of hospitalizations and deaths throughout Dutchess County as a result of the current surge in COVID-19 cases. While the outlook isn't good in the short term, the county executive did seem optimistic about the vaccine rollout, even hinting that it may be running way ahead of schedule.

Molinaro praised the governor and local officials throughout New York for the job they've done so far with vaccine distribution. Healthcare providers started receiving inoculations last week after the Hudson Valley already received their allotted amount of the vaccine. The region is now expecting even more deliveries thanks to the recent approval of the Moderna vaccine.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, nursing homes will be receiving the vaccine in partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Patients and staff will all have access to the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine. As early as next week, the next group of eligible people could start getting the vaccine. That includes first responders and other essential employees.

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Although the original plan was for the rest of the general public to have access to the vaccine at the end of March, Molinaro now believes it's more likely to happen in February. That would mean that all essential employees and people with compromised health will receive the vaccine at a much quicker pace than originally thought.

Molinaro says he likens the timeline to those restoration estimates that Central Hudson sends out when there's a power outage. "(It's like) when they tell you the power is going to be out for four hours and it's back in 90 minutes."

In the meantime, the county executive is encouraging residents to do their research about the vaccine. While it's still your choice whether to take it or not, he believes the facts will convince most people to participate. "Learn about the vaccine, understand the vaccine, its effectiveness and then choose to take the vaccine."

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