The coronavirus vaccine will now be administered through a Nassau County vaccine center. The county is working with Northwell Health to administer the vaccine to the public at the new site. This is an important step toward reaching herd immunity through vaccination as the recently opened site is Nassau’s first COVID-19 vaccine distribution center.
Details About the Vaccine Center
The vaccine center will be located at Nassau Community College. This site will operate every day of the week. Patients are required to make an appointment before they arrive in order to be vaccinated. The vaccine will be administered by Northwell Health employees. The logic in partnering with Northwell Health is to expedite the state’s vaccination of the public, ensuring those who work on the front lines are vaccinated in a timely manner, followed by others working on the front lines as well as the general public.
Though vaccine distribution is currently limited to those on the front lines of the battle against the pandemic and elderly living in nursing homes, members of the general public are now empowered to find out if they are eligible for vaccination through the county’s website. If eligible, people can make an appointment at the vaccine center through the site.
A Step in the Right Direction
Though the country’s response to the pandemic can certainly be criticized, the opening of the Nassau vaccine distribution center represents progress. Public officials anticipate the newly opened vaccine center will distribute hundreds of doses daily. There is also a chance the county will open additional vaccine distribution centers in the months ahead.
Part of the challenge in vaccinating the public is two separate vaccines must be administered 21 to 28 days apart for adequate protection against the virus. This means it will likely take several months or longer to vaccinate those living in the greater Nassau area as well as the public.
A Response to the Criticism
Governor Andrew Cuomo made waves after criticizing the Nassau University Medical Center for administering less than 20% of the vaccine it had been allotted. Cuomo pointed out the hospital was one of the slowest in the entire state to administer the coronavirus vaccine. Though Nassau County did not originally meet Cuomo’s expectations, local government certainly deserves credit for its new vaccine distribution center. The aim is to administer as many doses as quickly as possible in the days, weeks and months to come.
The Nassau County Department of Health will distribute the vaccine with assistance from the Nassau County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) along with the previously mentioned Northwell Health. Dr. Larry Eisenstein, the Department of Health Commissioner, will lead the vaccination effort.
The hope is that Nassau County’s new vaccination center will spearhead the transition to a new year that represents a blank slate and a fresh start in the battle against COVID-19. Part of the effort involves working with local clinicians and leaders throughout the Nassau community to guarantee the vaccine is provided to those on the front lines as well as those in particularly vulnerable areas with a history of disparities in terms of both healthcare and health outcomes.