Samaritan employees can get COVID vaccine, but...

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - An initial 350 employees from Samaritan Medical Center can get the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine this week, but they’ll have to travel four hours to take the shot.

Samaritan’s initial doses of the “Pfizer vaccine” were delivered to Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital (CVPH) in Plattsburgh. CVPH is serving as the distribution point for several north country hospitals.

Hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine were shipped out nationwide, starting Monday morning.

“High priority” employees - generally, doctors, nurses and others directly involved in patient care - will get the vaccine first.

Any Samaritan employee making the trip this week will have to go back in about a month for a second dose.

Samaritan anticipates getting 1,200 doses of the “Moderna” vaccine next week, which will be administered in Watertown, and anticipates many employees will choose to wait for that vaccine.

“Knowing that we’re getting the distribution next week is good for us,” said Leslie DiStefano, spokeswoman for Samaritan Health.

Separately, St. Lawrence Health System, which operates Canton-Potsdam, Massena and Gouverneur hospitals, said Monday it anticipates getting a supply of the Pfizer vaccine at Canton-Potsdam Hospital by Wednesday.

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