PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WFFF) – In the North Country, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital received close to 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, all to be shared amongst ‘high risk’ hospital workers. A total of ten employees were vaccinated Tuesday afternoon, including ICU Medical Director Dr. William Bunn.
“I feel very positive that this is the beginning of us conquering COVID,” said Dr. Bunn, shortly after getting the long-awaited shot.
He says he’s honored to be in this position.
“It means a lot to me because I’ve worked in the ICU and have worked with folks with COVID and I’ve seen how truly rotten this is,” said Dr. Bunn.
Senior Public Health Educator Jen Trudeau with the Clinton County Health Department reminded the North Country in a statement this is the start of a long process.
“High-risk health care workers, nursing home residents and staff are prioritized to be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by other long-term and congregate care staff and residents and EMS and other health care workers,” said Trudeau.
Meaning, it could take months before the North Country sees widespread distribution.
Garry Douglas with the North Country Chamber of Commerce says the vaccine won’t have an immediate effect on border restrictions. However, he says the speed at which the nation has developed a reliable and effective vaccine should bring some hope to businesses in the region.
“I think the story here is the remarkable speed at which this has all happened. Some months ago there were those who said oh we can’t have vaccines by the end of the year. That can’t happen. It’s never been done before,” said Douglas.
He furthers, the vaccine will help the region gain better control of the virus and bring down case counts by the spring.
“We’re indicating to the business community to have no expectations of any significant change of cross-border restrictions until spring. Spring meaning April or May…maybe as late as June,” said Douglas.
Dr. Bunn says he’s confident in the vaccine and – having seen the virus up close – he feels he’s gained an extra layer of protection.
“So if I know that my chances of having trouble with this vaccine are less than one in 60,000, I like those odds a whole lot better than my odds if I catch COVID,” said Dr. Bunn.
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