More than 11,000 local medical staff vaccinated, vaccine clinics continue through holidays.
More than 9,000 medical staff with the University of Rochester Medical Center and 2,000 at Rochester Regional Health have been vaccinated for the coronavirus as of Thursday morning.
Vaccine clinics are continuing through the Christmas holiday for healthcare workers and long-term care residents.
Dr. Robert Mayo, chief medical officer at Rochester Regional Health, said the initial deployment of vaccinations has been complicated. The vaccine delivery process is kept confidential, and hospitals are given at most a few days' notice before a shipment about how much of the vaccine they’ll receive and when.
“That has created some challenges in letting people know ahead of time, coordinating all of the vaccine efforts,” said Mayo. “So for many of our employees receiving the vaccine in the first couple of clinics felt bumpy and a little erratic.”
Dr. Michael Apostokalos, chief medical officer at the University of Rochester Medical Center, says that sometimes a vaccine dose will go to someone whose risk is lower when someone else at higher priority for the vaccine is unavailable.
He says while that can cause confusion, it’s intended to keep the vaccine from being wasted.
“We’re going to do our very best to assure that our community is fairly treated and gets the vaccine that they need and deserve,” Apostolakos said.
On Wednesday, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza urged people not to contact their primary care doctors about receiving a vaccine, as they will be informed when their time has come.
“Ultimately this work will lead to equitable and efficient distribution of the vaccine to everyone beginning with those most at risk of contracting the virus or suffering serious side effects from it,” said Mendoza.