UTICA, NY – As cameras flashed and clicked, and video cameras rolled, an ICU charge nurse, RN, and infectious disease physician became among the first people in Oneida County to be vaccinated against Covid-19, Wednesday, at MVHS' St. Luke's Campus.
The Mohawk Valley Health System received the shipment of roughly 975 Pfizer vaccines 10:30 Wednesday morning. By 2:30, they were vaccinating members of their staff.
"I'm excited to get it, I think everyone should get this vaccine. I work up in the ICU, it's a terrible disease, people are suffering terrible, and I really highly encourage everyone to get it. This is the beginning of the end, hopefully," said MVHS ICU charge nurse, Greg Young.
"It is fastracked and I do agree people are very nervous about it. It's a new, novel virus, and nobody knew much about it, but the research they've done on this... I can say with confidence they don't vaccinate people without having any trials and so far 60,000 people have been in the trials," said Devayani Namassivaya, MD.
MVHS is a hub for the vaccine. Of the roughly 975 doses they received on Wednesday, approximately330 are for their staff. The rest will be distributed among eight other Mohawk Valley Region hospitals, whose staff must go to St. Luke's to be vaccinated. MVHS expects to receive a shipment of the Moderna vaccine in about a week. The hospital's president and CEO cautioned everyone not to abandon precautionary measures, like masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing, just because vaccines are underway.
"Wear your mask, stay socially distanced and please don't gather in big crowds. It'll take up to nine months for us to vaccinate enough people in our community to go back to living our lives as we have known them," said MVHS President and CEO, Darlene Stromstad.
Rome Memorial Hospital also announed it may begin vaccinating its employees as soon as next week ifthe Food and Drug Administration approves emergency use of the Moderna vaccine. RMH says it will follow health department guidelines "...in prioritizing healthcare workers based upon their risk of exposure."
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