Nassau Executive Curran describes COVID-19 vaccine distribution as 'military-style campaign'
In what will be a massive effort, Nassau and Suffolk officials detailed how the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed within the counties.
Nassau Executive Laura Curran called the undertaking a "military-style campaign," which is expected to begin later this month. But Curran, Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone and leaders at Island hospitals say right now, there are no actual distribution plans in place just yet.
"We're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the vaccine, I've been speaking to our hospital executives, talking about storage and distribution," says Curran. "I've been speaking to my colleagues around the state and other counties and also with the state Department of Health on how we get this done."
Dec. 15 is the date, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that the state will receive its initial delivery of enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for 170,000 New Yorkers.
Long Island leaders says once the vaccine is here, they also plan to work on getting people comfortable with getting the vaccine.
"As it becomes available, we're going to be talking about the vaccine, the safety and helping people feel more confident about actually taking it," says Curran.
In a statement, Medical Society of the State of New Yor
k President Dr. Bonnie Litvak says, "As the COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available in the state, the medical community and the New York State's vaccine task force are committed to ensuring that the vaccines are widely disseminated to all people in a fair and equitable manner to get everyone immunized against the virus."
Litvack pointed to community-based physicians who "have the trust of their patients." She says, "As physicians, we must all work together to immunize all New Yorkers with the COVID-19 vaccine."
Northwell Health also issued a statement to News 12, saying, "We are preparing for the shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine across our 23 hospitals. We have acquired the proper freezers to store the Pfizer vaccine – which must be stored at 70 degrees below Celsius. To account for flu and Covid-19 vaccinations, we have procured four times the typical amount of vaccine supplemental supplies, like alcohol swabs, gloves and syringes."
The statement goes on to say they are working with staff to identify who is most at risk and qualify to receive the first set of vaccinations.