MSSNY eNews: January 6, 2021 – MSSNY Info. for Physicians: How to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine


MSSNY Information for Physicians: How to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
Community-based physicians and their staff are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  Below is information on how physicians and staff, including NY City based physicians, can make an appointment to receive the vaccine.

To better ensure expeditious distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, today the Governor announced additional possible enforcement actions against hospitals that do not distribute their supply within the week they receive it.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Process for NY State Physicians and Staff

The web page will ask for information for your name, where you live, and what you do for a living.  If you are in a priority group currently getting the vaccine, the site will show you the location of health care providers who can give you the vaccine near you.  Just choose the one you prefer, and schedule the appointment.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Process for NYC Physicians and Staff

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene updated their COVID-19 vaccination page with information for non-hospital providers, including vaccination locations and related scheduling.

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene indicated that vaccine locations and supply are limited, and they are working very hard to ensure that providers and their staff across New York City are vaccinated as quickly as possible. The City plans to ramp up capacity at these sites and add sites over the coming weeks. MSSNY encourages physicians to check the NYC vaccination page regularly, as this is where the most up-to-date information will be posted.

Community-based physicians and staff eligibility information can be found here

Physicians, Residents, Students and Retired Physicians Who Would Like to Volunteer to Provide COVID-19 Immunizations

The Medical Society of the State of New York encourages the physician community to volunteer to provide COVID-19 Immunizations to residents of New York State. The first step in this process is by signing up for ServNY.

Established after 9/11, ServNY is a volunteer management system, administered by the department’s Office of Health Emergency Preparedness (OHEP), that is a Web-based registry of individuals who make themselves available to assist on behalf of New York State during an emergency.  Registering is important, as credentials are verified upon registration and periodically thereafter.

When volunteers are needed, ServNY will automatically notify potential volunteers via phone or e-mail with the information necessary for a volunteer to determine if they are ready and available for the assignment.  Physicians would most likely be contacted by their local Department of Health, the regional hospital hub or by the county’s Medical Reserve Corp.  Activation through this system ensure that there are liability protections for physicians and other health care providers.

NYS Department of Health has two numbers for assistance:

  • 1-866-529-1890, option 1 to assist with the Health Commerce System
  • ServNY at 1-518-408-5163

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Gov. Cuomo’s Briefing Highlights

– Day 312
– Statewide positivity rate without micro-clusters: 8.13%
– Statewide rate with micro-clusters: 8.41%
– Micro-cluster rate: 9%
– 197,816 tests conducted
– 161 deaths
– 8,665 hospitalizations, up 75
– 1,408 ICU patients, up 16
– 877 intubations, up 26

Hospitalizations by Region:

– Finger Lakes: 934, (0.08%)
– Western NY: 540 (0.04%)
– Southern Tier: 220 (0.03%)
– Mid Hudson: 984 (0.04%)
– Central NY: 403 (0.05%)
– Mohawk Valley: 306 (0.06%)
– NYC: 3,107 (0.04%)
– Long Island: 1,614 (0.06%)
– Capital Region: 472 (0.04%)
– North Country: 85 (0.02%)

Positivity Rate by Region:

– Finger Lakes: 10.29%
– Western NY: 8.76%
– Southern Tier: 5.56%
– Mid Hudson: 8.18%
– Central NY: 9.13%
– Mohawk Valley: 10.67%
– NYC: 6.39%
– Long Island: 9.52%
– Capital Region: 10.07%
– North Country: 9.19%
– Manhattan 3.98%
– Staten Island:7.82%
– Brooklyn: 6.38%
– Queens: 7.47%
– Bronx: 7.48%


– Gov. said first priority is to protect hospital capacity and staff, particularly with new strain being found in NY
– Gov. said the hospital staff vaccination rate has been improving dramatically this week, has tripled since Monday

– If a hospital hits an unacceptable refusal rate among staff, the vaccine will be reallocated to another facility that needs it
– Gov. said 85% of hospital staff surveyed will accept the vaccine
– Next tier after healthcare workers is over 6 million people, Gov. said it may take weeks or months to vaccinate
– Other vaccines will be approved, the supply available is expected to increase
– Large scale distribution to the general public is expected in March or April


– Gov. criticized federal government’s lack of response to UK COVID strain
– Gov. sent letter today to DHS Secretary Wolf, CDC Director Redfield, requesting US Customs and Border Protection test all incoming international travelers
– UK strain case in Saratoga, New York may be a result of travel to UK 


On how the state will ensure all residents comply with vaccine:
– Gov. agreed this is still complicated, will be difficult to get to 70-90% vaccination rate
– Gov. said an aggressive education campaign will be released once the vaccine is available to the general public

On why Gov. is requesting travel restrictions when the new strain is already in NY, what NY is doing to contain it, and updates on Saratoga case:

– Gov. said he contacted airlines from UK to prevent the strain coming into NY when it was first discovered
– The state has been testing for the new strain, and contact tracing the confirmed case
– The person who has the confirmed case was in contact with someone who had traveled to the UK
– Gov. said numerous mutations can be expected, saying this underscores the need for travel restrictions and testing travelers

On why Gov. has not opened up vaccine to next tier if allocations are not being utilized by hospitals:

– Gov. said there is not enough supply for that, so far, there are only 900,000 doses for 2.1 million healthcare workers, who are top priority
– There are still healthcare workers that have not received it, until this is the case, there is no additional supply available

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Gov. Asks Feds: Screen International Travelers for COVID Variants at NY Airports
The governor has sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield asking that U.S. Customs and Border Protection require everyone coming into New York airports from outside the country to show they have been tested before admission, or to allow the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to screen for proof of such testing.

“The virus is mutating every day. … There’s been dozens of mutations,” Cuomo said at a morning briefing on Wednesday. “Who knows if the next mutation is going to be effective with the vaccine? ….”

The request came just days after state health officials confirmed New York’s first case of a COVID-19 variant, which was first identified in the U.K. (Politico, Jan 6)

Gov. Wants to Increase 300,000 Weekly Dose of Vaccine by Boosting Distribution
New York is talking to the federal government about an increase in its weekly 300,000-dose vaccine supply as it prepares to boost distribution, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. The state has enrolled 3,762 distribution sites, of which 636 are activated and giving Covid-19 vaccines to health-care workers. So far, only about 900,000 vaccines have been distributed for a cohort of 2.1 million health-care workers, Cuomo said Tuesday at a virus briefing.

“You’d need another four weeks of allocations before you can get out of health-care workers, roughly, roughly, before you finish 1A and then move to 1B,” Cuomo said, describing the state’s tiered distribution system. The 1B category includes essential workers and members of the general public over the age of 75, he said.

Cuomo said the vaccine will be administered at convention centers, colleges, churches, and community centers, as well as pop-up sites. Teachers unions, police and fire departments and mass-transit systems will be asked to distribute their own vaccines to alleviate the burden on systems dealing with the general public, the governor said. “To the extent we can have the essential workers use their own employees or their own health-system provider to do their own vaccines, that removes a burden from the retail system, if you will, it removes them from the hospital system,” the governor said.

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Follow Inoculation Progress: Bloomberg Vaccine TrackerBloomberg Vaccine Tracker

15% of Workers at Long Term Healthcare Facilities Decline Vaccine
As the vaccination of nursing home residents and staff against Covid-19 enters its third week, long-term-care association leaders reported that efforts had been met with more resistance from workers than residents. Dr. Howard Zucker, state commissioner of health, said in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Monday briefing that about 10% of nursing home residents and 15% of staff have declined the vaccine.

Anecdotally, some facilities have seen rates as high as 80% of staff initially unwilling to be vaccinated, said Michael Balboni, executive director of the Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association, a nonprofit serving the needs of long-term-care facilities. In comparison, the process for residents has been more or less smooth sailing, association leaders said.

Cuomo said in his briefing that as of Monday, 288 of 611 enrolled facilities in the federal vaccination program for nursing homes—or 47%—had completed the first dose for residents. The state would expedite the program to achieve 85% of residents vaccinated with the first dose by the end of this week, with the remaining 15% to be covered in the following two weeks, Cuomo said.

The state’s assistance would help many associations achieve their ideal time frame of broad coverage with the first dose by Jan. 11, Hanse said. Many anticipated bottlenecks for the rollout were unfounded, long-term-care leaders said. Because Walgreens and CVS were the designated administrators for the nursing home vaccine program, many homes initially worried they would have trouble contacting big national chains to schedule appointments, Balboni said.

When pharmacy staff were on-site, getting nursing home workers to take the vaccines was a different story, Heyman said. “We can’t just assume that if we offer the vaccine, the staff will just take it,” Balboni said. It is not clear why workers have been more unwilling to take the inoculation than residents. Maybe residents—who are older—acknowledge that they are at higher risk of dying should they contract Covid-19 and are more willing to take it to protect themselves, Heyman suggested.

For vaccination efforts to work, both nursing home residents and staff have to be vaccinated, Heyman said. “Otherwise, there will be gaps in the protection we’re trying to build,” he said. (Crain’s Health Pulse, Jan. 6)

Registration Now Open Veterans Matters: PTSD in Returning Veterans Webinar
Tuesday, January 26th @ 7:30 am
The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program entitled Veterans Matters: PTSD in Returning Veterans live webinar on Tuesday, January 26, 2020 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to register for the program! View the program flyer

When:          January 26, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:        Frank Dowling, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify diagnostic criteria for PTSD
  • Discuss medical and psychiatric comorbidities of military related PSTD
  • Discuss evidence-based treatment modalities for PTSD including medications and psychotherapy
  • Discuss strategies to help veterans overcome stigma to seek and accept treatment for military-related trauma

For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at or call (518) 465-8085

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


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