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SUNY Upstate starts administering second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
An Upstate worker gets vaccinated at the hospital.

SUNY Upstate Medical University has distributed all of its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine, and is now administering the second dose. Upstate has vaccinated 6,000 people in the first phase of New York’s vaccination program.

Upstate is the vaccination hub for a five-county region in central New York. Health care personnel, first responders and residents and staff in long term care facilities, are eligible to receive the vaccine. The hospital has been vaccinating its own staff, as well as the staff of other hospitals in the region.

While visiting the hospital on Wednesday, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said the central New York region has been a model for cooperation between SUNY Upstate, Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse.

“So, as this expands to broader communities, I think you’re going to see a quick process in multiple areas with a lot of experienced health care personnel to do this,” Malatras said. “I’m confident that once that happens, we stand willing and ready to go.”

Upstate continues to receive new shipments of the vaccine. As the rollout moves forward, Malatras said five community colleges have agreed to be distribution centers for the vaccine and more SUNY campuses are likely.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.