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When will veterinary staff be vaccinated? Updated Jan 11th

  • 1.  When will veterinary staff be vaccinated? Updated Jan 11th

    Posted 10 days ago
    Edited by Tim Atkinson 10 days ago
    The vaccination program is prioritized following the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control
    Their program divides the population into a number of groups, starting with 1a), 1b) 1c) and 2

    New York State started to vaccinate the 1a) population in December 2020. These were the highest risk medical teams
    The original plan was to vaccinate all 1a) workers before starting on group 1b) - which covers all essential workers, including veterinarians.

    On Jan 8th NY State changed the plan to begin to vaccinate some 1b) groups simultaneously with the 1a) groups.

    On Jan 11th, NY State added the first of these 1b) groups to their eligibility criteria, however these first groups focus on essential workers who have direct contact with the public during their work. NY State has directed veterinarians to use curbside check-in protocols so that they do can avoid direct contact with the public. The government continues to direct veterinarians to use curbside check-in protocols so that it can focus vaccination efforts on high risk groups that cannot avoid exposure to the public.

    Some veterinarians enter assisted living facilities to provide care to pets in those facilities. We recommend they contact those facilities to obtain letters they can use to show that they are workers who are in contact with the public in these facilities, and therefore eligible for vaccination.

    NY State will continue to add more 1b essential workers to the list of eligible professions as the vaccination program proceeds, and we will share any information we obtain,  Meanwhile you can check your own eligibility here COVID-19 Vaccine: Get the Facts
    COVID-19 Vaccine remove preview
    COVID-19 Vaccine: Get the Facts
    The first COVID-19 vaccines are here. Due to limited supply from the federal government, availability is limited. More and more New Yorkers will become eligible as the vaccine supply increases. While the vaccination process is underway, every New Yorker should wear a mask, social distance and avoid small and large gatherings.
    View this on COVID-19 Vaccine >



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    Tim Atkinson
    NYSVMS
    Albany NY
    518-869-7867
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  • 2.  RE: When will veterinary staff be vaccinated? Updated Jan 11th

    Posted 2 days ago
    I just heard from a client that she and her roommate were able to make appointments for their vaccine at the end of the month -- they work for a school district, so they are considered 1b even though they are in administration with zero public contact. In fact, they have both been working remotely from home this whole time. How is that fair or logical? Curbside service does not protect veterinary staff from exposure to each other. We wear masks, but we can't stay 6 feet apart, and we're working all day every day in cramped quarters. Plus, the staff still has direct contact with many clients day in and day out even if it's outside in the parking lot, and clients often aren't wearing their masks properly, if at all. We should have vaccine priority over office workers who can work from home!

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    M. Denise Corcoran
    Veterinary Medical Center
    Endwell NY
    607-748-7489
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  • 3.  RE: When will veterinary staff be vaccinated? Updated Jan 11th

    Posted 2 days ago
    Hi Dr. Corconan,
    Unfortunately there is a huge amount that appears to be unfair and somewhat illogical about the vaccine rollout.

    We would certainly agree that veterinarians should have vaccine priority over office-workers who work from home. However the way the State wrote the eligibility requirements for school administrators it does not appear to specify that it is not for those working from home. That is probably a very small group within the class 1b categories that are currently eligible, and if you look through the list online you will see it is written to focus on people with direct public contact. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-additional-new-yorkers-individuals-75-and-older-can-begin-scheduling  

    We had a conversation just a few days ago and got close to having veterinarians added to the list.  Unfortunately the NY State government still takes the view that curbside enables veterinarians to restrict public contact far below the 15 minute threshold that is considered dangerous, and that the in-hospital contact between employees is lower risk than the groups they are focusing on for vaccination.

    That doesn't mean we have stopped trying, but it does seem that the actual incidence of Covid among veterinarians is somewhat lower than the 1b groups they have currently made eligible.


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    Tim Atkinson
    NYSVMS
    Albany NY
    518-869-7867
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