Oswego Hospital praised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for using its vaccine allotment

Local News

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Oswego Hospital has been so good at delivering its vaccine allotment that it got a special mention by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

During his Monday briefing, the governor noted Oswego Hospital for using 99% of its vaccine allotment.

Cuomo is making it a point hospitals and other vaccine hubs use the allotment they’ve been given by the State or else give it back and face a possible fine for not using enough.

Oswego Hospital is part of the Oswego Health system.

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Michael Backus tells NewsChannel 9, “That was really a great thing for us to see and we really appreciate the Governor putting us up there on display at least, it’s great.”

He adds that it was a real pick me up for the healthcare system, which like so many, are exhausted by the pandemic but still fighting.

The planning by Oswego Health, Backus says, started long before the vaccine ever got to the hospital with almost every sector was involved.

Marketing put together and sent out vaccine facts to inform staff about what it is they were being asked to get, IT to put in a scheduling system.

“They really had to create a scheduling tool to help our directors put this together, I mean that was a new effort that we had to put together quickly but we were able to do that. And then we were really able to put our occupational health and our employee health team together to actually do the vaccination clinic,” Backus says.

Part of the advance planning also included leasing from SUNY Oswego a freezer from its molecular biology lab to make sure they had one cold enough to store the Pfizer vaccine, in case that’s what arrived. Oswego Hospital won’t detail what kind of vaccine it got but Backus says they were ready for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

He says, “President Stanley has been a tremendous partner for us here at Oswego Health and the Oswego community. She’s got a great relationship with Chancellor Malatras and his team up there.”

Oswego Hospital has vaccinated about a thousand people in its system, so many that the state instructed them to give the vaccine to many first responders in the community.

“That’s how we’re going to get through this pandemic. If we continue to push this out, we continue to get the vaccine out and this is just one first step that we need to take and we need to continue to push out to the rest of our larger community,” Backus tells NewsChannel 9.

He says the second dose of vaccinations should begin in a couple weeks.

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