In the lamb-like beginning of March, after weeks of preparation, Community Memorial was able to secure 500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for community distribution.
At the Masonic Lodge in Hamilton, Community Memorial’s vaccine team, in conjunction with the Madison County Department of Health and Colgate University, executed the area’s first community vaccination point of distribution March 9 and 10 for qualifying recipients.
As of the event, Phases 1a and 1b of New York state’s vaccine distribution plan were eligible to receive the vaccine; all eligible community members were encouraged to review criteria and sign up via a link provided by the state, and appointment slots quickly filled.
“Community Memorial is proud to collaborate with Madison County and Colgate University bring the Hamilton area a POD, allowing hundreds of residents to receive their COVID-19 vaccine,” stated Jeff Coakley, president & CEO. “We remain committed to providing essential services like mass-vaccine distribution as part of our mission to provide quality patient care.”
As pharmaceutical companies work to continuously manufacture vaccines, the need remains strong. There are three manufacturers producing COVID-19 vaccines, but only one has developed a one-dose method: Johnson & Johnson.
“We are excited to offer this vaccine to our community for those eligible and interested in inoculation against the COVID-19 virus,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Walsh. “These vaccines are the strongest tools in combating this pandemic, and we’re proud of this community for doing their part in getting vaccinated to protect us all.”
Working closely with the DOH and Colgate University allowed for a smooth POD setup and process. Recipients were in the door, checked in and vaccinated in a short time. Madison County DOH provided additional personnel to administer vaccines, allowing a quick and efficient process.
“Working closely with these organizations ensured a successful POD,” Coakley said. “We will continue to keep residents informed about additional future vaccine distribution. In the meantime, please do not delay your healthcare. Make an appointment with your primary care provider or visit our urgent care service or emergency department to manage chronic or acute medical concerns.”
Community Memorial will also work to secure additional vaccines and schedule future PODs – for updated information, visit communitymemorial.org/news-events/.
For more information on eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 vaccine and any vaccine-related questions, visit the state Department of Health site at covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine.