The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine has made its way to Putnam, where some frontline healthcare workers have already started to receive their initial doses of the vaccination.
This week, the Putnam County Department of Health administered 600 doses of the vaccine that were received from New York State on Tuesday, Jan. 5, with 251 doses administered on Thursday, Jan. 7 to some essential employees and healthcare workers.
After receiving the first dose, employees will receive their second dose on Thursday, Feb. 4 to complete the vaccination.
Next week, on Monday, Jan. 11, more vaccines are expected to be administered in Putnam to those living or working in facilities run by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Office of Mental Health, and Office of Addiction Services and Support.
“This is what we have all been waiting for,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “At last, the vaccine is in the hands of our county health department and will be going into the arms of our healthcare providers and most vulnerable citizens.
“Our health department is trained for this, they are the experts in public vaccination programs and they are ready to go. The Department of Health runs vaccination programs every flu season and also when facing health crises like the H1N1 virus.”
Putnam County Health Commissioner Michael Nesheiwat said that those who live or work in an of the facilities eligible to receive the vaccine have been notified and permitted to visit closed “Point-of-Dispensing” where the vaccinations are being administered.
“When local health departments step up and run PODs, we are showing the community that we believe in this vaccine and truly see this as our way forward,” he said. “As the vaccine becomes more widely available, we strongly urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.”
Earlier this week, Odell activated the Bureau of Emergency Services Incident Command Structure to oversee an orderly rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program.
“We recognize there is both a desire for vaccines as well as a certain amount of vaccine hesitancy,” PCDOH Supervising Public Health Nurse Kathy Percacciolo said. “Residents should be assured, the COVID-19 vaccines we have are safe and effective.”
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