January 6, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Dear Colleagues,

Vaccinations continue today, January 6th, and the focus still remains on vaccinating individuals delivering direct patient care and all care team members and staff supporting them in person. We will keep everyone updated as more groups are added, so please stay tuned.

As of today, over 28,000 staff at NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell, and Columbia have been vaccinated. This includes nearly 10,000 individuals on the Columbia Campus who are working in patient care areas, with over 5,200 of them Columbia employees and students. The CDC reports that there have been over 4.8 million people who have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Please register for next week's Town Halls to answer any questions you may have.

CUIMC Vaccine Town Halls, with Drs. Anil Rustgi, Melissa Stockwell, Magda Sobieszcyk, Olajide Williams, Mary D’Alton, and Donna Lynne

We are also pleased to announce that the new vaccination site in Alumni Auditorium is up and running!

First Dose Vaccinations

  • First dose vaccination on 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.
  • Columbia employees who work at the Allen Hospital and Lawrence Hospital can be vaccinated there on site, 6:45 am to 4 pm through Saturday this week.

Second Dose Vaccinations

  • Second dose vaccinations 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, when possible, 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. For questions about where/when to go for your second dose 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.

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)

As a reminder you can find the latest FAQ documents on the CUIMC COVID Vaccine Information page. Below are two highlighted Questions of the Day to keep you informed.

Does the vaccine prevent you from contracting COVID-19?

The clinical trials for both the Pfizer vaccine and for the Moderna vaccine found that two doses of the vaccines were >90% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 illness, including severe illness. The vaccine may also protect people from asymptomatic COVID-19 that could be transmitted to other people and this is now being studied.

Can a person who has been vaccinated still transmit COVID-19 to an unvaccinated person?

We are still learning about exactly how the COVID-19 vaccines provide protection. What we know right now is that the vaccines are very effective at preventing COVID-19 infection with symptoms. The vaccines may also prevent transmission altogether, but there are ongoing studies that will help further clarify this issue. Even without being vaccinated, many people are asymptomatically infected with COVID-19, therefore it is still beneficial to be vaccinated to prevent severe disease. Until more information is available from ongoing and upcoming studies, it is important to continue to follow all safety precautions, including wearing a mask when around others, practicing social distancing, wearing all appropriate PPE in the hospital, and performing frequent hand hygiene.

Thank you!

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