Upon initial distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released guidance for facilities, providers, and local health departments that received the COVID-19 vaccine on how it should be distributed. The list of those eligible to receive the vaccine has now been expanded past the initial group. The guidance is as follows:
Facilities are continuing to vaccinate those who were prioritized in Phase 1A in weeks 1-3 (frontline healthcare workers, EMTs, medical examiners, coroners, funeral directors). In addition, the following individuals are now eligible to be vaccinated.
Beginning Week 4, January 4, 2021:
• All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff in a position in which they have direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff), will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
o This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who work in private medical practices; hospital-affiliated medical practices; public health clinics; specialty medical practices of all types; dental practices of all types; dialysis workers; diagnostic and treatment centers; occupational therapists; physical therapists; speech therapists; phlebotomists; behavioral health workers; and student health workers.
• All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, those handling COVID-19 lab specimens and those directly engaged in COVID-19 vaccinations, will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
Beginning Week 5, January 11, 2021:
• Home care workers including those in the consumer directed programs.
• Hospice workers.
• Staff of nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities who did not receive COVID vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.
The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) is part of the Mohawk Valley Regional Vaccination Network which covers six counties (Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, Montgomery, Fulton, and Schoharie) and 10 hospitals: St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth hospitals in Utica (MVHS), Rome Memorial Hospital, Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, Little Falls Hospital, A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta, Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, Cobleskill Regional Hospital in Schoharie County, and two sites of St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam. Anyone meeting the NYSDOH criteria above and looking to receive a vaccine in one of these areas should take the following action:
• Visit https://www.mvhealthsystem.org/vaccine-network for a list of locations in the six-county region (under Sites for Vaccine Clinics).
• Click on the location where you would like to get the vaccine. This will bring you to a registration page.
• Once registered, come to the vaccination POD on the day designated by your registration. You will need to show a badge or letter from your employer confirming where you work.
The MVHS vaccination PODs are held at the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing, 2215 Genesee Street, Utica. Those who are eligible can also walk in any day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week, with appropriate identification. If you walk in you may have a bit of a wait.
More information on the vaccine and who is qualified to receive it can be found on the Mohawk Valley Regional Vaccination Network website here: https://www.mvhealthsystem.org/vaccine-network or on the DOH website here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine-information-providers.