Human Resource Services has issued an update regarding the COVID-19 Vaccination Program for all faculty and staff. The message reads as follows:
Stony Brook Medicine COVID-19 Vaccination Program: What You Need to Know
Who’s Receiving the Vaccines First and Why?
We’ve entered an important phase in our fight against COVID-19. With the availability of vaccines, we are now administering them to thousands of individuals through our Stony Brook Medicine (SBM) COVID-19 vaccination program. Following prioritization guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (DOH), the vaccines are being provided first to Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) healthcare personnel at high risk for transmitting or becoming infected with the virus. This includes those providing direct care to, or interacting with, patients. It also includes administrative and food and housekeeping services staff who have contact with patients or who handle infectious materials.
SBM also received a vaccine allocation to be administered to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel; medical examiners and coroners; funeral workers who have direct contact with infectious material and bodily fluids; and healthcare or other high-risk direct care essential staff working in long-term, congregate settings overseen by state agencies including OPWDD, OMH, and OASAS, as well as residents of these communities.
Since the program began on December 15, we have administered thousands of doses of the vaccine to SBUH staff, providers and residents, and to the community groups detailed above. The State has estimated that sufficient vaccines will be available for all Phase One workers, which includes all healthcare providers, by February. At Stony Brook Medicine, we need to vaccinate almost 12,500 people. Stony Brook Southampton and Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospitals are each receiving their own additional allocations from the State and are following the same prioritization scheme. Long Island State Veterans Home (LISVH) vaccinations are being provided onsite through a special NYS program for nursing homes administered by CVS Pharmacy. One-third of LISVH employees have already received the vaccine (on December 28, 29 and 30), with the remaining two-thirds of staff to be vaccinated on January 18, 19 and 20.
We have been administering the vaccines through various points of distribution (PODs), including locations at the Hospital and the Stony Brook Union. While taking place on West Campus and supported by both SBU and SBUH employees, the vaccines distributed at the Union were provided strictly to SBUH and community workers deemed eligible by the NYS DOH, as described above, and by appointment only.
In accordance with DOH criteria, each eligible group of SBUH personnel contains a mix of physicians, residents, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners and other Hospital staff.
The prioritization list is based upon a combination of factors including work location (e.g., Intensive Care Unit – ICU) and role (e.g., patient-facing positions, facilities and other support personnel working in high-risk units). Anyone who works in an ICU, no matter what role, is considered a priority category.
When Will Others Be Vaccinated?
We recognize that other faculty and staff, on both the East and West campus, are eager to know when they will be eligible to receive a vaccine, and by what means they will be selected and notified.
Because it depends on availability and distribution of vaccines, the DOH has not yet communicated timing for those who aren’t in the first priority groups. As we receive more vaccine supply in the coming weeks, we will further expand access according to the priority approach required by New York State. We will update you as soon as the DOH determines which entities will vaccinate additional groups as they become eligible.
Continue Following Safety Precautions
Until vaccines are more widely available, safety measures to mitigate the spread of the virus (including mask wearing, social distancing and frequent hand washing) will still be necessary well into the spring. Moreover, even those who are now receiving vaccines must continue to follow all of these measures.
In the meantime, we want to thank you for your patience and support, and assure you we are doing everything possible to administer vaccinations as quickly as possible as we continue our efforts to protect the health and well-being of our entire campus community. We will keep you updated in the weeks and months ahead as we move forward with this significant endeavor.
Vice President, Human Resource Services
Chief Human Resources Officer
Stony Brook University Hospital
Director of Human Resources
Long Island State Veterans Home