COVID-19 & Vaccination Update: January 27, 2021

Bassett Healthcare Network held a news conference Wednesday, January 27, to discuss COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts in the region served by Bassett and to explain the current guidance coming from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

Watch the News Conference

News Conference Summary

Bassett Healthcare Network President and CEO Dr. Tommy Ibrahim said, “We have made good progress using our initial allocations. Over 5,000 health care workers, including 3,500 network staff, have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and we’re in the process of second dose vaccinations for health care workers. Moreover, Bassett stands ready to vaccinate as many eligible individuals as possible when the state is able to release a more substantial supply of the vaccine to the five hospitals in our network.”

Most recently, Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown received an allocation of the Moderna vaccine that the NYSDOH advised can be used for individuals eligible under the current guidance for Phase 1a and Phase 1b of the state’s COVID-19 distribution program who have not yet received their first dose. However, the state directed Bassett to prioritize health care workers and first responders not yet vaccinated. Any remaining vaccine may be distributed to others eligible under the phase 1b criteria.

Based on that guidance, Bassett plans to use this most recent allocation to vaccinate health care workers who still need their first dose, high-risk cancer and dialysis patients over the age of 65, and individuals living in local group home settings. In addition, Bassett will hold a vaccination clinic Saturday, January 30, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown from 8:00am – 1:00pm for approximately 200 individuals who meet the state’s current COVID-19 vaccine criteria.

“Given the limited supply of vaccine, we know appointments for the community clinic will fill up immediately,” said Bassett’s network director of Pharmacy Services Kelly Rudd, PharmD. “Individuals must register through the state’s COVID-19 vaccination portal and we anticipate that a link to the state’s portal will be live later today, January 27, on our website, https://www.bassett.org/covid-19-vaccine.

Please note that registration is now closed for this vaccination clinic. Please continue to monitor our website for important vaccination information.

Each of the Bassett network’s five hospitals applies weekly to the NYSDOH for additional vaccine. Earlier this week, the NYSDOH issued a health care provider advisory saying that supply of the vaccine is becoming “more and more scarce” and that DOH is operating on “week-to-week allocations.”

“It’s unfortunate that the supply pipeline for the COVID-19 vaccine has not yet opened up,” said Ibrahim. “Distribution, particularly to rural locations, has been extremely limited in New York State. In our region, there is a significant percentage of people over the age of 65, many people living with chronic conditions, and others who need the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Three of Bassett’s hospitals were designated as points of distribution (PODs) by the state when the COVID-19 vaccination program was first established. Those PODS include A.O. Fox Hospital in Otsego County, Cobleskill Regional Hospital in Schoharie County, and Little Falls Hospital in Herkimer County. In addition, O’Connor Hospital in Delaware County requested POD status, but thus far has not had a formal response from the NYSDOH.

How to sign up for vaccination clinics

  1. To check your eligibility for future vaccination clinics, please visit https://www.bassett.org/covid-19-vaccine for instructions on accessing the state’s vaccine eligibility and appointment portal.
  2. Once Bassett’s other hospitals receive additional supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, we will schedule additional clinics. Continue to check Bassett’s website and the state’s COVID-19 vaccination portal for available appointments at the following locations:
  3. On the day of your scheduled vaccination appointment, before receiving your vaccine, complete the required online NYS COVID-19 vaccine form.
  4. The NYS vaccine website indicates that proof of eligibility is required at all vaccination clinics and may include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a paycheck stub, depending on the specific priority status. If you are eligible due to age, you should bring a form of ID (like a driver's license or passport) that includes your date of birth.

Finding other vaccine distribution sites

In addition to the hospitals, health systems, county public health departments, and some pharmacies that are playing a role in the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, there are a number of New York State-operated vaccination locations in various metropolitan areas, including Albany, Binghamton, and Utica. Appointments are required and fill up quickly.

Statewide, the NYSDOH estimates there are over 7 million people who are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the state receives approximately 250,000 vaccines per week.

The list of individuals eligible under Phase 1b of the state’s distribution program includes:

  • People 65 and older
  • Teachers and education workers
  • First responders (i.e. police and firefighters)
  • Public safety workers
  • Public transit workers

To see the entire list of those eligible in Phase 1b, click on this link to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine website. Also continue to visit Bassett’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage for vaccine distribution updates.

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