RRH begins phase 1b COVID-19 vaccinations

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: January 12, 2021 07:10 PM
Created: January 12, 2021 03:18 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Regional Health isn't wasting any time when it comes to using their allocated supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to people in phase 1b. Tuesday the hospital system vaccinated people who qualify for this phase.  

More than 120 seniors age 75 and above were scheduled, by reservation only for the free of charge vaccination clinic at Unity Hospital. 

Cars started to line up before the 9 a.m. start time. The hospital spent much of Monday contacting eligible patients interested in getting the vaccine. 90-year-old Jerry Batog from Greece got the call and was the first patient in line. He spoke to News10NBC while waiting in the post-vaccination waiting area of the hospital's parking lot. 

"I think it's terrific," Batog said. "I have no reactions so far, I even got a sticker. I was a good boy. I didn't even cry."

The process is simple. Registered seniors drive to the designated testing area, and are guided towards the nursing staff. After their reservation is checked, they then proceed to the vaccination section where they get their first of two shots of the Moderna vaccine. They will return again in 28 days for their second shot. Batog says the process was easy.  

"I thought it was well managed to be honest with you. They had everything in order," Batog said.

Rebecca Alley, Vice President, and Chief Nursing Officer for Ambulatory Services for the hospital called Tuesday's first round of clinics very exciting.

"This is really the beginning of the end," Alley said. "It will take us some time to be able to get vaccines out to everyone who desires it, but we are committed as a community, and as a health care system to make sure that as we are able to get vaccines out, we will roll it out in as quickly and efficiently as we can." 

Alley says it's also a huge moment for the staff to see a 90-year old take part in the clinic.

"As a health system, we're been caring for these individuals for months. Some of them have done well, some have not, and so it was very exciting. It feels like we're saving lives," Alley said.

Rochester Regional Health says after all their senior patients are vaccinated, they will then reach out to all others who are part of the phase 1b vaccine. For now, they can schedule an appointment on the New York State website.

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