WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The COVID vaccine is finally here, but some hospitals are not administering it fast enough, according to Governor Cuomo.
“Nationwide, there have been issues with the delivery of the vaccine,” he said.
Cuomo acknowledged the nation’s slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccine. He said public health officials and hospitals have to do better in administering doses faster and even threatened $100,000 fines for those hospitals that lag behind.
“This is a management issue of the hospitals. They have to move the vaccine and they have to move the vaccine faster,” he said.
We checked in with some north country hospitals.
Lewis County Health System has administered 50 percent of its initial vaccine allocation. Carthage Area Hospital has administered the same percentage, mostly to staff members.
Claxton-Hepburn was unable to provide us with a percentage, but the CEO of both hospitals says nothing has gone to waste.
“I think the human resource department and infection control department at both Carthage and Claxton have done a great job at managing that so that we’ve had no wasted vaccine doses,” said Richard Duvall, CEO of Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center and Carthage Area Hospital.
Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray says he is not surprised by the pace of the rollout. He says the vaccination process is longer and more difficult than testing.
“No delusion on this, it’s going to be a long process. Right? If we are near completion by the fourth quarter, we’d be in great shape. So it’ll be a year-long process at least,” he said.
Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown hasn’t had any issues administering the vaccine, using 89 percent of its allocated doses, while the state as a whole has only used 46 percent.