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CNY Nursing Homes, Syracuse VA Receive First Rounds of COVID-19 Vaccines This Week

Robert McClean / Syracuse VA Medical Center

The first round of COVID-19 vaccines are reaching some nursing homes today in Onondaga County.  It’s been a long time coming as local the death toll from the virus has particularly impacted the elderly population.  

Health Direct Pharmacy VP of Operations Dave Adsit says it’s a major undertaking.

“Our team actually is administering vaccine doses within the patient’s room.  That’s in their best interest that we do that.  And that requires a little bit more mindful planning and consideration as we’re certainly working through this.”

Adsit says the planning for the distribution of the vaccines is immense but, he knows his team and their client’s staff will be able to make it happen.  It’s still too early to fully gauge if people are warming up to the idea of getting the vaccine but, he says there is some hesitancy from some residents and staff.

Credit Health Direct Pharmacy Website.
Health Direct Pharmacy VP of Operations Dave Adsit

“… but, I would say so far that it’s still very early in the clinic process that we’re seeing from a staff perspective that 65 to 75 percent of staff members are actually still consenting to get the vaccine.”

Health Direct’s sister company is Kinney Drugs and they provide roughly 55,000 patients with long-term care services on a daily basis.  Adsit says it takes an incredible amount of coordination, prep and time to administer a large amount of shots in a very short time frame.  Adsit says the decision by a CDC panel to include those 75 and older living at home to get the vaccine and essential workers makes sense.

The Syracuse VA Medical Center in Syracuse is currently one of 113 veteran’s hospitals across the country that is also beginning to administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week which requires 2 doses, 28 days apart.  The VA will contact all eligible veterans as they receive additional shipments of the vaccine and there is no need to preregister or go to the hospital ahead of time.

“This is the result of months of planning and hard work by the staff at the Veterans Health Administration in Washington and our team here at the Syracuse VA to help get COVID-19 under control while never letting up using the vitally important public health measures such as masking, physical distancing and frequent handwashing,” - Dr. Frank Pearson, Syracuse VA Medical Center Director.

Veteran’s seeking more information about the VA’s COVID-19 vaccine plans may click here to be directed to their web page.  For the latest COVID-19 updates, veterans can sign up by clicking here

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.