ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine continues to be distributed in New York State this week, State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced that phase one of the vaccination program is set to begin at SUNY hospitals for its healthcare personnel. The recently approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been received and is ready to administer.
SUNY hospitals—SUNY Downstate Health Sciences, Upstate Medical, and Stony Brook University Hospital—will provide the first dose to medical personnel with a priority on those directly caring for patients with COVID-19, as directed by the New York State Department of Health. SUNY’s hospitals have been at the forefront of caring for patients in some of the hardest hit locations, including SUNY Downstate Health Sciences, serving as a COVID-only hospital, and Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island during the first surge in cases last spring.
“Our SUNY Hospitals and our heroic staff continue to be on the frontlines fighting this vicious virus, working tirelessly to treat and care for New Yorkers while also on the forefront of developing innovative pool testing and leading the vaccine trials,” said Chancellor Malatras. “With today’s delivery of the first doses of vaccines, our frontline staff and many others to follow will rest assured that with our collective work, we are on our way to defeating the virus.”
For almost three months, several hundred SUNY Downstate frontline doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, lab technicians, and other healthcare and essential workers provided direct and indirect care to the patients at the University Hospital of Brooklyn, one of New York City’s COVID-only hospitals.
In addition to emergency hospital care, SUNY Downstate established an outpatient clinic for the ongoing care of discharged patients following inpatient and outpatient treatment for COVID. The clinic was especially critical considering that many of these patients had pre-existing conditions. Nearly 90% of patients treated at SUNY Downstate had at least two co-morbidities and 30% had three or more.