SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — About 24 hours after Upstate University Hospital received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccines and gave the shots to 50 frontline workers, the hospital administrators have been assigned to develop a plan to vaccine thousands of more people.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo assigned specific hospitals as coordinating hubs for their regions.
For Central New York — Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, Cortland, and Cayuga Counties — it will be Upstate in Syracuse.
For the Mohawk Valley — Oneida, Herkimer, Fulton, Otsego, Schoharie, and Montgomery Counties — it will be Mohawk Valley Health System in Utica. MVHS is the merged Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center.
The lead for the Finger Lake Region — Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Yates, Monroe, Livingston, Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties — will be the University of Rochester.
Cuomo says the medical community should be in charge of the vaccination plan after blaming governmental control of testing early in the pandemic for making the process political.
Cuomo also says the lead hospitals will coordinate vaccination plans with local governments when more people are eligible, like essential workers and at-risk people, in the next round.
It’s not clear how Onondaga County’s early ideas, like using ShoppingTown Mall as a vaccination center, will be blended into Upstate’s plan.
Hospitals need to submit their regional plans to the State Department of Health by the first week of January. Another surge of vaccines will be offered to more people in late January.