Ulster County health-care workers receive first round of vaccinations

Colleen Laico, from Kingston, a medical professional at the ER at Kingston Hospital, receives her COVID-19 vaccination

Today, the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations were administered to Ulster County medical professionals.

“This is a significant step forward in our pandemic response,” said County Executive Pat Ryan. “Health care workers have been at the front lines of COVID-19, risking their lives to help others and selflessly working around the clock to serve our community. Being able to witness today’s vaccinations brought a surge of optimism and relief, but we still have to continue to remember the realities of the pandemic with cases continuing to surge. While we are still months away from the vaccine being widely available to the public, we must continue to take precautions to stop the spread while making sure all Ulster County residents the information they need when the vaccine becomes available to them.”

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“My hat’s off to the team at MidHudson Regional Hospital and WMCHealth for their tremendous accomplishment of setting-up and now vaccinating our Healthcare Heroes,”  Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley Dr. Michael Doyle said. “And, real credit to these heroes, who continue to amaze us all with their courage, on the frontline fighting the pandemic and now on the frontline making it go away by being vaccinated.”

Earlier this week, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced the formation of the Ulster County Vaccine Distribution Coalition. Led by Dr. Marc Tack, an infectious disease specialist with more than 20 years of medical experience, the coalition is made up of community leaders with the goal of educating the public in order to build trust and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine and its distribution process. The committee looks to focus on underserved populations to ensure a seamless process once the vaccine is readily available to the general public.

This week Pfizer delivered nearly 170,000 Covid-19 vaccines to New York State. Stage 1 vaccination distribution will see vaccines distributed proportionally throughout New York’s 10 regions based on the makeup of each region. Whatever percentage of the state’s healthcare workers any given region holds will determine how much of the vaccine will be sent to that region. It is expected that pending FDA approval, next week a second shipment from Moderna would deliver an additional 346,000 more vaccines to New York. The Mid-Hudson region will receive over 19,000 vaccines in the first round.

Members of the committee include the following:

  • Dr. Marc Tack, Infectious Disease Specialist

  • Dr. Walter Woodley, Institute for Family Health

  • Dr. Marta Sanchez, Institute for Family Health

  • Mariel Fiori, Editor La Voz Magazine

  • Beth Albright, Family of Woodstock

  • Susan Koppenhaver, Director of the Ulster County Office for the Aging

  • Estela Aquino-Woych, New York State Nurses Association

  • Lauri Naccarato, New York State United Teachers

  • Pastor Jim Childs, Pointe of Praise Church

  • Pastor Denise Younger, New Testament Church of Jesus Christ in Ellenville

  • Diana Lopez, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

  • Ulster County Jewish Federation Representative

For additional information and to find out how to get involved, please email UCVDC@co.ulster.ny.us.