BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Wednesday Congressman Brian Higgins (D - NY26) asked New York State to make COVID-19 vaccines available to Canadian residents.
Higgins, the co-chair of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-US Interparliamentary Group, has been outspoken on the need to reopen the U.S.-Canada border to non-essential travel. It has been closed for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his letter Higgins said in part:
Western New Yorkers are anxious to see their Canadian family, friends, and neighbors. Sharing surplus vaccines should not just be about shipping vaccines around the world, but should also be about helping our closest neighbors. If there is excess supply of the vaccine, we should do everything in our power to see that those doses do not go to waste. The stakes of this pandemic are too high to do anything less.
Higgins also highlighted that all 30 state operated COVID vaccine sites currently show available appointments and nearly 50 retail pharmacy sites within a 50-mile radius of the Western New York region have available supply. He also points out several states along the Canadian border such as North Dakota, Alaska, Washington and Montana have recently allowed Canadian residents to receive the vaccine.
The Congressman is pushing to develop a plan to safely reopen the border on a wider scale by July.