'This is a disgrace' - Medical professionals confused about when they'll get COVID-19 vaccine
As front-line workers continue to get the COVID-19 vaccine, many other medical professionals are left wondering when it'll be their turn.
There is some confusion, frustration and lots of unanswered questions from some health care workers who say they want to get the vaccine but have no information from the state about when and how they can get it. Included in that group are pediatricians, dentists and assisted living facility employees.
Nursing home staff and residents have begun to get the vaccine -- but not assisted living facilities.
"Assisted living staff should be able to access the vaccine immediately because they are serving a very frail, vulnerable population," says Lisa Newcomb, executive director of the Empire State Association of Assisted Living. "And we want to prevent them from bringing virus into the building and infecting our residents, so they should have access now."
Dr. Cary Ganz, an area dentist, says they see up to 15 patients a day and are unaware if they are symptomatic spreaders.
"We sit 12 inches, 18 inches away from patients," says Ganz. "They breathe on us. We have aerosols that come out."
Dr. Kerry Fierstein of Allied Physicians Group says ultimately they're willing to wait for the vaccine, but the lack of information has been most frustrating.
"My friends in Connecticut have already been vaccinated. This is a disgrace," says Fierstein. "We give vaccines, we do well visits, we're testing for COVID, we're keeping our school safe, and we're keeping the hospital safe by doing tests before people go in for procedures."
While some local pediatricians say they've been told that the vaccine might be available to them starting Monday, they say they still don't know how to sign up or where to go.
News 12 reached out to the governor's office to ask about pediatricians, dentists and assisted living facilities, but hasn't heard back yet.