• Rich Klein

Cuomo: Vaccines Being Distributed More Widely - SUNY -Sullivan Could Function As Drive Through

BREAKING: Governor Andrew Cuomo today said that vaccines are now being distributed to medical practices, some County public health departments, long term care facilities, pharmacies and urgent care centers around the state.

But it's unclear at press time which health facilities in Sullivan, if any, are in line to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine this week.

Locally, places like Garnet Health, the Center for Discovery and The Arc/Hudson Valley have already received the vaccine.

In addition, local nursing homes, including The Care Center at Sunset Lake, have reportedly received vaccines around December 29 under the federal plan that New York State opted into. In those situations, employees from Walgreens and CVS are supposed to do the injections.

SUNY will also have "drive through" vaccine operations, Cuomo said. A source had previously told the SullivanTimes that SUNY Sullivan, likely the Gerry Fieldhouse, will ultimately be included.

It's unknown at press time if Sullivan County Public Health Services has received vaccine or if that is imminent.

After frontline healthcare workers and essential workers, those age 75 and over will be next in line to receive the vaccine, the governor said.

Westchester Medical Center Health Network was designated by the Governor and the state Health Department as the regional vaccination network for the Mid-Hudson region. But yesterday, Cuomo criticized the center for distributing just 32 percent of its vaccine inventory.

The SullivanTimes today reached out to WMC Health Center Network for comment.

Just before 6 pm, the hospital issued the following statement:


“Westchester Medical Center is moving swiftly through our vaccine allocation. Daily we are vaccinating hundreds of our workforce members. Earlier this week, we also began administering the second dose to our workforce. We are closely following New York State guidelines for vaccine prioritization and distribution, and are working under those guidelines hand-in-hand with nearly 200 community partners, including county departments of health, local government, emergency service and other community providers, to deploy vaccine allocations as they become available.”

Today, the governor repeated what he said yesterday: that if a hospital did not want the responsibility of functioning as a regional distribution network, he would be consider using other hospitals that are more efficient. That certainly could leave the door open for Garnet Health (Middletown and Harris) to take on that function.

As for those healthcare employees who might refuse the vaccine, Cuomo said "it's a complicated legal question" because the vaccines fall under emergency use authorizations.

DEVELOPING

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