The Putnam County Department of Health vaccinated 251 people against COVID-19 Thursday during its first vaccination drive of the pandemic, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced.
The vaccine clinic, or POD as it’s known, was not open to the public, but only by appointment 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 was our first time out of the gate and it went very well,” County Executive Odell said. “The health department started small in order to work out the details involved in inoculating large numbers of people in the midst of a pandemic.”
Between noon and 3 p.m., groups of those pre-approved for vaccination lined up at a safe social distance outside the Carmel Friendship Center on Old Route 6 in Carmel waiting for their turn to get jabbed. After they received their shots, they were watched closely while they waited in their cars for 15 minutes to make sure they did not have a reaction to the vaccine. The health department ran the POD with support from local law enforcement, EMS and plenty of volunteers.
Because of the limited vaccine supply, the state has given first priority to a broad group of healthcare workers and those in living in nursing homes or other congregate care. Only those groups with state approval can be vaccinated at this time, no matter where they get the vaccine, the local health department, or other venues that have also been given limited supply – pharmacies, urgent cares, health centers and hospitals.
“The vaccinations are the easy part,” Kathy Percacciolo, PCDOH Supervising Public Health Nurse said. “Sometimes the logistics can interfere with implementation— as we have seen happen in other places. Fortunately, in Putnam County we are experienced in running PODs and today’s POD went off without a hitch.”
The county health department received 600 Moderna vaccines from the state on Tuesday. It will hold a second POD on Monday for the same population group at the Carmel Friendship Center on Old Route 6 in Carmel.
Those approved for vaccination during New York State, Phase 1A include:
- High-risk hospital workers (emergency room workers, ICU staff and Pulmonary Department staff)
- Residents and staff at nursing homes and other congregate care facilities
- Federally Qualified Health Center employees
- EMS workers
- Coroners, medical examiners and certain funeral workers
- Staff and residents at OPWDD, OMH and OASAS facilities
- Urgent Care providers
- Individuals administering COVID-19 vaccines, including local health department staff
- All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care
- All staff who are in direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff)
- All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, handling COVID-19 specimens and COVID-19 vaccinations
- This includes, but is not limited to,
- Doctors who work in private medical practices and their staff
- Doctors who work in hospital-affiliated medical practices and their staff
- Doctors who work in public health clinics and their staff
- Registered Nurses
- Specialty medical practices of all types
- Dentists and Orthodontists and their staff
- Psychiatrists and Psychologists and their staff
- Physical Therapists and their staff
- Optometrists and their staff
- Pharmacists and Pharmacy Aides
- Home care workers
- Hospice workers
Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Putnam County Commissioner of Health administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination to Kathy Percacciolo, PCDOH Supervising Public Health Nurse at the Carmel Friendship Center on Thursday Jan. 7