ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - In the first three days of vaccinations, 89,000 New Yorkers have received shots to protect them from COVID-19.
State officials said Wednesday that 22,000 people in nursing homes received their first dose of the vaccine.
The state also said extra doses that have been found in Moderna vaccine vials can be used. The vials were previously believed to contain 10 doses, but may now contain up to 11 doses.
In northern New York, staff members began receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Wednesday. They had 300 doses to administer.
“This is a day of great joy to me, because not only am I going to have more options and I am going to feel more safe, but it is the beginning of us getting rid of this,” said Dr. Michael Seidman, the first CHMC Moderna vaccine recipient, and CHMC Medical Director.
“So preventing ourselves from getting sick is important.”
As well, emergency medical services workers in St. Lawrence County began getting COVID vaccines Wednesday, as did workers at Clifton-Fine Hospital.
“I feel like healing arrived in a box today,” said Clifton-Fine CEO Dierdra Sorrell. “It’s an exciting time of renewed hope for our staff and our community.”
River Hospital in Alexandria Bay also got a shipment of the vaccine.
The north country region - which takes in a wide swath of counties including Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence - had just over 50 percent of its intensive care unit beds available, according to state officials Wednesday. (Technically, the percentage of available beds was 51 percent, and the number was a “7 day average.)
That means on a percentage basis, the north country had the most intensive care beds open in the entire state.
Increasingly, public health officials are using hospital capacity - how many beds and how much staff is available - to make decisions about how to handle the coronavirus crisis.