North Country Hospitals Using Full Allotment Of COVID-19 Vaccine During Roll Out | WAMC

North Country Hospitals Using Full Allotment Of COVID-19 Vaccine During Roll Out

Jan 7, 2021

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing hospitals across the state to step up their rate of COVID-19 vaccinations.  The medical center in Plattsburgh reports that most of the allotment that the North Country has received has been used.


During his COVID-19 update on Monday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lambasted some hospitals across the state for low COVID-19 vaccination rates.  He also praised high performing hospitals including the Adirondack Medical Center. The Saranac Lake hospital was placed in the top tier with an 87% vaccination rate.  He warned low performing hospitals that they risk receiving further allocations if they don’t step up their vaccination rates.  “We want those vaccines in people’s arms. New York state Department of Health sent out a letter to all hospitals that said if you don’t use the allocation by the end of this week, the allocation you have received by the end of this week, you can be fined and you won’t receive further allocations. We’ll use other hospitals who can administer it better.”

Officials at the CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh say they have no problem meeting the state’s requirements. Vice President of Population Health and Information Services Dr. Wouter Rietsema said Tuesday the three hospitals that are part of the UVM Health Network in northern New York have nearly depleted their supply of vaccine.  “Elizabethtown Community Hospital they will have used 100% of their inventory by Thursday. Apropos the Governor’s use it or lose it they will have used everything by Thursday. CVPH is in the same situation. We will be out as well barring any new shipments. And Alice Hyde has been out for a couple of days in part because of a wayward shipment.  There is 200 doses they were supposed to receive that they never received. So from the standpoint of what everybody heard in the use it or lose it column our North County hospitals are firmly in the use it column.”

Reitsema says CVPH has vaccinated just under 1,500 of their 2,500 employees and medical staff.  “I think it’s fair to say that this is messy. We are flying the plane as we’re building it. And that’s true at the federal level. It’s true at the state level. It’s true at the local level. It’s true at the hospital level. There are people that are frustrated. Why can’t I get it? Why is he getting it? All we can do is vaccinate what we get according to the guidance we get. And it’s all good. Every vaccine that gets in an arm benefits everybody. It’s not just the person who gets vaccinated. It’s everybody because it begins to be a break in the transmission chain.”

Reitsema said they are vaccinating about 300 people per day and all are health care affiliated workers.  When the state moves beyond Phase 1A, health departments will coordinate community vaccinations.