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News of Otsego County

kelly rudd

STERNBERG: Neighbors Helping Neighbors Get Shots
LETTER from RICHARD STERNBERG

Neighbors Helping
Neighbors Get Shots

erna
Richard Sternberg, retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, is providing his professional perspective weekly during the COVID-19
threat. A village trustee,
he resides in Cooperstown.

This past weekend Bassett performed an amazing feat of vaccinating a large group of people, more than 1,100 over two days. The confirmation of vaccine availability only came though on Wednesday, March 3, leaving but two full days to prepare. Nevertheless, I visited on Sunday and it had the appearance of a military operation (which in a sense it was).

The Bassett community, from Dr. Tommy Ibrahim on down should be proud, as should the staff of the Clark Sports Center, which hosted the event.

I want to especially commend the Bassett Director of Network Pharmacy, Kelly Rudd, Pharm.D., who was in command of the clinic from planning through implementation.

She worked from the list of patients from the state, a list of patients from Bassett’s own scheduling system, and an ad hoc group of volunteers who worked to contact and track down people qualified to be vaccinated, but for whom the computer-driven scheduling system was difficult or even impossible to use.

Also, many thanks are due to the Bassett staff who took the time to make hundreds of calls to help schedule seniors 65+.

There are many reports of computer-savvy individuals signing up friends, family members, and neighbors for vaccine appointments. To see this community spirit and kindness is a great thing.

The clinic was also able to smoothly access the waiting list to make sure no dose went unused. The volunteer group – which went out and identified about 175 people who had difficulty finding appointments on their own – included church members, other faith-based organizations, philanthropic NGOs (non-government organizations) including the Community Foundation of Otsego County, and additional individuals.

Many had been working on an individual basis, but recognized the synergy of working together.

First Shot Given In Otsego County

MODERNA VACCINE ARRIVES

First Shot Given

In Otsego County

Kelly Rudd, Bassett Healthcare Network’s chief of pharmacy, administers the first anti-COVID inoculation in Otsego County a few minutes ago to Dr. Lewis Brinton IV, Fly Creek, an emergency-room doctor at Little Falls Hospital. It was a double-first: the first shot administered in the county, and the first Moderna vaccine given to Bassett’s Tier One workers, 350 of whom received the Pfizer vaccine in Utica and Elmira over the weekend.   The other five people to receive the vaccination in Bassett’s Clark Auditorium this morning were Keith Velasco, Milford, nursing associate; Eddie Cook, Fly Creek, housekeeping; Suzanne Evans, Cooperstown, surgical resident; Liz Burns, Oneonta, R.N., and Dr. Travis Hodgdon, Cooperstown, critical care physician.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

CHECK BACK FOR FULL STORY

Hospital Awaits 1st Vaccine

Hospital Awaits 1st Vaccine

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Rudd

With the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine just days away from a likely approval, Bassett Hospital is prepping to give the first vaccination to one of its healthcare workers as the New Year starts.

“It will be a celebration by our organization,” said Dr. Kelly Rudd, Clinical Pharmacy technician. “It’s a way to celebrate the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”

Though 170,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were shipped across New York State this week, Bassett has opted for the Moderna vaccine, which has similar efficiency against COVID-19, but requires less refrigeration.

“Because it doesn’t need the ultra-cold storage like the Pfizer vaccine, it’s easier to store and transport throughout our region so we can reach more patients in our service area,” said Rudd.

According to news reports, 346,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine will be distributed by the state Department of Health, the first going to “high risk” hospitals and nursing home patients.

“We submitted our total number of employees to the state,” Rudd said. “We’re not anticipating that the whole supply will come in one shipment, so we’re working on stratification, determining who is in the closest proximity to COVID patients, age, who is at the highest risk with underlying conditions, so we can vaccinate them first.”

The Moderna vaccine, like Pfizer’s, is given in two doses, 28 days apart. “One of the things we have to look at is how to structure those vaccinations,” said Rudd. “If one of our healthcare workers begins showing symptoms, we want to be able to monitor to see if it is because they are sick or if it’s side effects, so we don’t want to vaccinate everyone at once.”

Though not made up of the live COVID virus, the vaccine can cause similar side effects, including fevers, chills and joint pain for a few days after the shot is administered.

After all “high-risk” people are vaccinated, the second tier is “essential” workers, such as county Public Health Director Heidi Bond.
However, it could be several months before the vaccine is ready for the public, Rudd said.

“People need to know that they’re not going to get it for Christmas,” said Dr. Charles Hyman, attending physician, Infectious Diseases.

But when the vaccine is available to the public – Hyman suggests end of April – plans are beginning to form about how to get it out to the public.

“I think it will be a slow roll-out,” said Bond.

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