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While the vaccination process is underway, everyone should continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and avoid small and large gatherings.

Mohawk Valley Regional Vaccination Network

The COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline is open 7AM - 10PM, 7 days a week, for scheduling vaccination appointments for eligible New Yorkers: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

MVHS, along with other area hospitals, has used its current allotment of vaccines. We know that our community members are eagerly awaiting appointments for the COVID-19 vaccination. It is difficult to schedule appointments without knowing when vaccines will arrive and we’re asking our community members to be patient with the new and evolving vaccination process.

Don’t wait. Vaccinate! - Click here to see if you're eligible

This is an exciting time for us all! After months of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines are available, offering hope for the future! This site provides information about COVID-19 vaccination for those working and living in the Mohawk Valley Region.

In New York State, the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine is being conducted by Regional Vaccination Networks (VxNs). The Mohawk Valley Regional Vaccination Network (VxN) covers six counties (Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, Montgomery, Fulton, and Schoharie) and 10 hospitals:  St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth hospitals in Utica (MVHS), Rome Memorial Hospital, Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, Little Falls Hospital, A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta, Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, Cobleskill Regional Hospital in Schoharie County, and St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam.

Important things you need to know 

  • The vaccine protects you and others from COVID-19.
  • The more people who receive the vaccine, the more protected we all are.
  • The Mohawk Valley Region VxN is following the tiered distribution plan as directed by the New York State Department of Health. The network does not make these decisions.
  • High-risk healthcare workers, such as emergency responders and staff and patients of congregate living facilities are currently being vaccinated. Vaccination began on December 16, 2020, in our six-county region.
  • When other groups can be vaccinated, locations for vaccine clinics, known as PODs, will be established and advertised. Please check back with us.
  • The availability of the vaccine dictates distribution capacity.

Tiered Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine

There is currently a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, so it will take time to vaccinate everyone who wants to receive it. In New York State, we are vaccinating people based on guidance from the CDC and the NYS Department of Health. This guidance prioritizes who gets the vaccine and when based on specific risk factors – this is why nurses and healthcare workers taking care of COVID-19 patients were the first to get the vaccine.

Check your eligibility with this tool from NYS DOH

Currently Eligible Groups (as of 01/12/21):

    • Age 65 and older
    • Immunocompromised people with diseases such as cancer
    • First Responder or Support Staff for First Responder Agency
    • Fire
      • State Fire Service, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
      • Local Fire Service, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
    • Police and Investigations
      • State Police, including Troopers
        • State Park Police, DEC Police, Forest Rangers
        • SUNY Police
        • Sheriffs' Offices
        • County Police Departments and Police Districts
        • City, Town, and Village Police Departments
        • Transit of other Public Authority Police Departments
        • State Field Investigations, including DMV, SCOC, Justice Center, DFS, IG, Tax, OCFS, SLA
    • Public Safety Communications
      • Emergency Communication and PSAP Personnel, including dispatchers and technicians
    • Other Sworn and Civilian Personnel
      • Court Officer
        • Other Police or Peace Officer
        • Support or Civilian Staff for Any of the Above Services, Agencies, or Facilities
      • Corrections
      • State DOCCS Personnel, including correction and parole officers
      • Local Correctional Facilities, including correction officers
      • Local Probation Departments, including probation officers
      • State Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
      • Local Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
    • P-12 Schools
      • P-12 school or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, and support staff including bus drivers)
      • Contractor working in a P-12 school or school district (including contracted bus drivers)
      • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group childcare
    • In-Person College Faculty and Instructors
    • Employees or Support Staff of Licensed, Registered, Approved or Legally Exempt Group Childcare Settings
    • Licensed, Registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare Provider
    • Public Transit
      • Airline and airport employee
      • Passenger railroad employee
      • Subway and mass transit employee (i.e., MTA, LIRR, Metro North, NYC Transit, Upstate transit)
      • Ferry employee
      • Port Authority employee
      • Public bus employee
    • Public Facing Grocery Store Workers
    • Individual living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of your household.
    • Individual working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents.

    Priority Groups Continuing to Be Eligible:

    • Healthcare Workers
      • High-risk hospital and FQHC staff, including OMH psychiatric centers.
      • Health care or other high-risk essential staff who come into contact with residents/patients working in LTCFs and long-term, congregate settings overseen by OPWDD, OMH, OCFS and OASAS, and residents in congregate living situations, run by the OPWDD, OMH, OCFS and OASAS.
      • Staff of urgent care provider.
      • Staff who administer COVID-19 vaccine.
      • All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff in a position in which they have direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff),
        • This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who work in private medical practices; hospital-affiliated medical practices; public health clinics; specialty medical practices of all types; dental practices of all types; dialysis workers; diagnostic and treatment centers; occupational therapists; physical therapists; speech therapists; phlebotomists and blood workers; behavioral health workers; midwives and doulas; and student health workers.
    • 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.
    • Certified NYS EMS provider, including but not limited to Certified First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, Emergency Medical Technician – Critical Care, Paramedic, Ambulance Emergency Vehicle Operator, or Non-Certified Ambulance Assistant.
    • County Coroner or Medical Examiner, or employer or contractor thereof who is exposed to infectious material or bodily fluids.
    • Licensed funeral director, or owner, operator, employee, or contractor of a funeral firm licensed and registered in New York State, who is exposed to infectious material or bodily fluids.
    • Home care workers and aides, hospice workers, personal care aides, and consumer-directed personal care workers.
    • Staff and residents of nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and adult care facilities.

    Sites for Vaccine Clinics (PODS)

    These sites and locations will be continually updated – check back often when it is your turn for the vaccine!

    Volunteers are Needed!

    Medical professionals will be needed over the next few months to staff our PODs (vaccination clinics). This is an excellent opportunity to be part of an historic effort to vaccinate residents of the Mohawk Valley

    • If you're interested in volunteering contact Tony Salce at 315-738-8351 or email anthony@midstateems.org
    • Physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses may issue standing orders for COVID-19 vaccination.
    • The requirement to obtain consent to report immunization information in the City and State immunization registries (City Immunization Registry [CIR] and New York State Immunization Information System [NYSIIS]) for patients over the age of 19 is suspended. All reports to CIR or NYSIIS must be made within 24 hours after vaccine administration.
    • Licensed pharmacists certified to provide immunizations may prescribe, order to, or execute a patient-specific or standing order to administer the COVID-19 vaccination.
    • The following professionals may administer the vaccination at Points of Dispensing (PODs) after receiving certain training (infection control, PPE usage, and CPR): licensed practical nurses, licensed pharmacists without certification to administer immunizations, midwives, dentists, certain dental hygienists, podiatrists, EMTs, and advanced EMTs.
    • Students with one year of clinical experience in medical, nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy, dentistry, podiatry, and midwifery programs may administer the vaccination at PODs.

    COVID-19 Vaccines and Distribution

    Vaccinations for Community Providers

    On Monday, January 4, MVHS began vaccinating community healthcare providers. If you do not work for MVHS and meet the NYS Department of Health criteria (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine-information-providers) to receive the vaccine at this time, here is what you need to know:

    • Register and schedule an appointment through the DOH website. (https://apps.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?OpID=50500114)
    • Once registered through this site, come to the MVHS vaccination POD on the day designated by your DOH registration. The vaccination PODs are held at the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing, 2215 Genesee Street, Utica.
    • You will need to show the registration letter from the DOH, plus a badge or letter from your employer confirming where you work.


    More information on the vaccine and who is qualified to receive it can be found on the Mohawk Valley Regional Vaccination Network website here: https://www.mvhealthsystem.org/vaccine-network or on the DOH website here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine-information-providers.

     

    1. What vaccines are now available?

    Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are now available.

    1. What’s the difference between the two?  Is one better than the other?

    The Pfizer vaccine is available for people ages 16 and older and requires a second dose after 21 days, the Moderna vaccine is approved for ages 18 and up and requires a second dose 28 days after the first. Anyone who presents for a vaccine who is under the age of 18 will need parental consent in order to receive one.    A fact sheet for Moderna is available here, and one for Pfizer is here.

    1. How are they being distributed in New York State?  Who’s deciding who gets it and when?

    There are phases of distribution based on an individual’s occupation and risk factors.  Here’s the phases of distribution for NYS, developed by the NYS Department of Health based on CDC guidance.

    Right now, the prioritization for vaccines by categories of people in New York State is:

    • Phase 1A
      • Vaccines administered to:
        • Front line healthcare workers
        • EMS
        • Long-term care facilities
    • Phase 1B
      • Vaccines administered to:
        • Essential, non-healthcare workers such as
          • Police and Fire
          • Corrections officers
          • Education
          • Food & agriculture
          • Utilities
          • Transportation
      • People aged 75 years and older (People in this age group who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.)
  • Phase 1C
    • Vaccines administered to:
      • Adults with high-risk medical conditions and adults 65+
  • Phase 2
    • Vaccines administered to:
      • Remainder of Phase 1 populations
      • Critical populations  
  • Phase 3
    • Vaccines administered to:
      • General Population
    1. When will members of the community receive the vaccine?

    It will take several months before distribution reaches the general public.

    1. How will I know when it’s my turn to get the vaccine?

    There is a special number, 315-624-4124, where the MVHS CEO will provide updates on the distribution and where we stand. When the vaccine is ready to be distributed to the public, we’ll share that information with the media, on social media and on our website.

    1. Do I still need to wear a mask and adhere to all the safety practices after I get the vaccine?

    Yes, we should not let down our guard until the majority of our population has had a vaccine.   It could take at least nine months!

    Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

    COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

    CDC Information Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines