Albany Med creates Capital Region focused network for all vaccine questions

Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — When it comes to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Capital Region, many people are wondering where to go and how to sign up. The Capital Region Hub of the Regional Vaccine Network can help do that.

It’s currently a waiting game to get a shot in your arm.

“People need to be patient and give us about a couple more weeks. I’m sure that we will have a lot more opportunities to get vaccinated,” CEO of Albany Medical Center Dr. Dennis McKenna said.

Albany Med is the coordinator for the Capital Region Hub of the Regional Vaccine Network. They are developing plans to ensure the safe, equitable and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine across Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties.

“It’s composed of all the area hospitals in the eight counties of the Capital Region. It includes the local health departments in all of those eight counties,” he said.

Dr. McKenna said, as the coordinator, they see which counties need the vaccine, how many vaccines they need, and ensure the sites get them. They also talk to the different county’s health departments daily.

“We help coordinate the redistribution of the vaccine. It’s the entities that are declaring how much vaccine they need and how much they are getting. We act as someone who can help facilitate the transfer of that vaccine,” Dr. McKenna explained.

Dr. McKenna said there is no ‘I’ in team, and it will take a village to make the vaccine rollout run smoothly.

“Each county health department plays a really important role because not everybody can travel to the sites like the one in the University of Albany campus. It’s going to be really important for those county’s health departments to be able to bring the vaccine to the people in their county that may not be able to travel to those sites,” he said.

Dr. McKenna said medical professionals will be needed over the next months to staff their PODs, or vaccination clinics.

“This is an excellent opportunity to be part of an historic effort to vaccinate one million Capital Region residents,” he said.

As of January 11, 2021, New Yorkers in Phase 1a and segments of Phase 1b are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. All vaccinations are by appointment only. Full details on who is currently eligible can be found on Albany Med’s website.

On the Capital Region Vaccine Network website, you can use the NYS Health Department’s Am I Eligible online tool to determine eligibility, find a location, and schedule an appointment.

The hotline is open from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day for eligible New Yorkers to schedule a vaccination or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

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