SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Tuesday morning, St. Joseph’s Hospital received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccines.
Two employees were there at 9 a.m. when the first vaccines were delivered. Trevor Balstra who is the operations manager for supply chain at St. Joseph’s said this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“We were just absolutely elated, the two of us, as an organization, because for us it really felt like a day in history.”
They have 1,000 vaccines from Moderna that will go to the employees who are most at risk.
“This is going to be mostly our frontline folks in the hospital, in the areas where they are dealing with COVID patients,” said Philip Falcone, Chief Medical Officer for St. Joseph’s Health. Falcone says they hope to vaccinate 200-300 employees a day
Falcone says some employees are hesitant to take the vaccine, and while it’s not mandatory, he recommends it.
“This is a relatively new vaccine that has been developed relatively quickly, however having said that, I think that the science behind this type of vaccine is very strong and I think the studies that were done have been proven to be effective and safe, so I would have little hesitation about getting it.”
Balstra says he’s hoping this is the beginning of the end.
“I think it says that we’re optimistic and being cautious because there’s a long road ahead of us and I think this is the stepping stone to help us get to a safer place.”
The first vaccine will take place at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Due to the holidays, some employees will have to get vaccinated after Christmas.