January 5, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Today, January 5th, is another day of vaccinations. As a reminder, the focus still remains on vaccinating individuals delivering direct patient care and all care team members and staff supporting them in person. Please rest assured that we will keep everyone updated as more groups are added. Please wait for that announcement. Please see important information below about locations of first and second doses.
As of yesterday, nearly 27,000 staff at NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell, and Columbia have been vaccinated. This includes nearly 9,500 individuals on the Columbia Campus who are working in patient care areas, with over 4,600 of them Columbia employees and students. The CDC reports that there have been over 4.5 million people who have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Starting today and going forward, first dose vaccinations at the NYP/CUIMC campus will be given ONLY in the Alumni Auditorium on the 1st Floor of the William Black Building located at 650 West 168th Street (corner of 168th and Fort Washington Avenue) during the hours of 6 AM to 9 PM Monday through Friday.
A few reminders for those receiving or about to receive their second dose vaccinations:
- Clarification about location of your second vaccination: If you are scheduled to receive your second dose this week, it will be administered at the same location where you received your first dose. Please note that ICU and ED staff who received their first dose at satellite locations should come back for the second dose at the central location (i.e. Myrna Daniels or MSCHONY) as directed by your department.
- Please come for your second dose at the scheduled time as it will be critical in helping NYP make staffing and vaccine supply decisions based on those appointments.
- Second dose reminders will be sent via Connect. If you have not yet signed up for Connect, please do so, at: https://www.myconnectnyc.org/mychart/accesscheck.asp.
- For questions about where/when to go on each campus, please go to the Employee Information section on the VaccineTogetherNY.org site. This link also contains information about how to sign up for Connect accounts.
While CUIMC employees should be vaccinated through the vaccination program with NYP, we know that many of you have family members and friends who are also frontline workers and may be wondering how they can be vaccinated. As of this week, eligible New Yorkers can get the COVID-19 vaccine at sites located throughout the city. Please see this website for further details for eligible groups, locations and scheduling: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccine-locations.page
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Even though you can find the latest FAQ documents on the CUIMC COVID Vaccine Information page we are also going to highlight two key Questions of the Day to keep you informed.
I currently have COVID-19. Should I still get the vaccine now? How long should I wait after I recover to get it?
Data from clinical trials show that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are SAFE in people who had past COVID-19 infection. Vaccination should be offered to people regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection. Testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus or for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 to decide when to get vaccinated is NOT recommended.
CDC recommends that people who currently have COVID-19 infection wait to be vaccinated UNTIL they meet criteria to discontinue isolation. Generally, isolation can be discontinued when 1) at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms or a positive test if a person has been asymptomatic; 2) at least 24 hours have passed being afebrile without antipyretics; and 3) symptoms are markedly improved. Health care personnel (HCP) with COVID-19 must be cleared to return to work by Workforce Health and Safety.
According to CDC guidelines, HCP who had COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days can choose to delay vaccination until near the end of the 90-day period in order to allow other HCP to be vaccinated first, if there is limited vaccine supply. This is because current evidence suggests that people are less likely to get reinfected with COVID-19 in the 90 days after their initial infection. However, this is a strategy to address limited vaccine supply and NOT for safety concerns, since current data from clinical trials have shown that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe in people who had past COVID-19. NYP has enough vaccine supply to vaccinate people who recently had COVID-19 and strongly encourages those with recent COVID-19 to be vaccinated.
I just tested positive for COVID-19 and am scheduled to receive the second dose of the vaccine this week. Is it OK to receive the second dose later?
CDC recommends that people with current SARS-CoV-2 infection should defer COVID-19 vaccination until they meet criteria to discontinue isolation. Generally, isolation can be discontinued when 1) at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms or a positive test if a person has been asymptomatic; 2) at least 24 hours have passed being afebrile without antipyretics; and 3) symptoms are markedly improved. Health care personnel with COVID-19 must be cleared to return to work by Workforce Health and Safety. Note that data from clinical trials of both vaccines demonstrated that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe in people who had past COVID-19. If a person is unable to receive their second dose within the recommended interval, the second dose should be given as close as possible to the recommended interval which is 21 days for the Pfizer vaccine and 28 days for the Moderna vaccine. There is no maximal interval between the first and second dose for either vaccine.
Magda Sobieszczyk, MD, MPH
Chief of Infectious Diseases and Co-Chair of the CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Committee
Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH
Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health and Co-Chair of the CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Committee