When it comes to the painfully slow rollout of vaccine distribution around the country there are plenty of places to point the finger of blame, though none should be assigned to Pfizer and Moderna who are cranking them out as fast as humanly possible. Administrative blunders and a lack of advance planning are the most common reasons for the confusion about deliveries and a lack of functional systems where people can request a spot in the line. But then there are cases like that in New York State. We’ve seen the same things I just mentioned going on, but the problem is being further compounded by the executive orders issued by the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo. He has set forth such a stringent order for who can have the vaccines first (with threats to impose massive fines on anyone who doesn’t toe the line) that huge numbers of doses have been stuck in freezers for weeks. And as the New York Times pointed out, it’s gotten so bad that some of them expired and had to be thrown out. Facing criticism for that, Cuomo has now grudgingly relented and will allow a few more “classes” of people to sign up for a dose.

Under increasing pressure to relieve a backlog of hundreds of thousands of unused coronavirus vaccine doses, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday expanded the eligibility groups to include three million more people, including those 75 and older.

In the weeks since vaccinations began in mid-December, stories of doses sitting in freezers for weeks or being discarded have emerged, offering a glimpse of what public health experts have characterized as a troubled rollout in New York.

Mr. Cuomo had stuck to rigid guidelines that prioritized health care workers, and residents and staff of nursing homes and group homes. But on Friday, after repeated criticism from Mayor Bill de Blasio and local officials around the state, the governor announced that this new group — which also includes many essential workers — could begin scheduling vaccinations as soon as Monday, one month after New York City received its first doses.

Before I come down too hard on the Teflon Don of Albany here, I’ll just say that when it comes to frontline healthcare workers, I get it. I fully agree that they should have been at the head of the line for the vaccines, assuming they actually wanted to be vaccinated. Some of his other scheduled priorities, such as prisoners and teachers, even if the latter are not going back to class, are more questionable. But the healthcare workers, in many cases, either aren’t signing up to take the vaccine or they haven’t been able to find one.

What’s wrong with this picture? When you have unused doses sitting around in a freezer and no people in the “1A” group coming to be vaccinated, how would you not open up the opportunity to the next group in line? One doctor in New York City told reporters that he had been stuck with extra doses that were about to go bad and wanted to administer them to some of his high-risk patients, but he didn’t. He was too afraid of violating the Governor’s mandates and being fined massive amounts of money. Apparently, it was just safer to throw them away.

Allowing those age 75 and up to sign up was a nice touch, assuming they now have a functional system for seniors to do so. And yet the overall pace is too slow. The state Department of Health is now saying that it may be at least April before they finish vaccinating only the healthcare workers and those over 75. Is it seriously going to take us four months to get through that many people?

When Cuomo first announced that was going to relent a bit, he didn’t inspire much confidence in the reservation system. He warned people that just getting through the first three million people on the list would mean that their “appointments” for a first dose might be months away.

However, he warned it could be weeks before people who make appointments will actually be able to get vaccinated.

“At this rate, it will take us 14 weeks to do 1A and 1B. Fourteen weeks is an eternity of time,” Cuomo said, because there are 3.2 million people that will be newly eligible. “Don’t be surprised if that appointment is three months from now.”

This combination of incompetence and the failure to build any flexibility into the distribution plan is a disaster that going to be killing some people in New York. And I mean that literally. There are going to people out there who simply run out of luck and die while waiting for an appointment to be vaccinated. And all the while the mainstream media will continue to sing Cuomo’s praises, flog his book deals and nominate him for another Emmy. What a mess.