Health care providers at the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center began receiving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Janice Harbin, the chief executive officer and a practicing dentist, was the first to be vaccinated.
“As a person of color and a clinician, I am all too aware of the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color, in terms of physical, mental, and financial health,” she said. “My clinical team and I have reviewed the information about the COVID-19 vaccines and we are comfortable that they are safe and effective. For too long, and for good reason, communities of color have mistrusted the medical establishment.
Harbin said Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech — manufacturers of the vaccines currently being given — conducted rigorous trials that included people of color.
“We know it works and we know it’s safe for people of color to accept the vaccine,” Harbin said.
Harbin received her first of two doses on Dec. 30. Jordan Health planned to complete the initial round for its providers by Dec. 31.
Once healthcare providers at Jordan Health have been vaccinated, excess doses of the vaccine, if any, will be used to vaccinate healthcare providers from organizations that did not receive enough doses.
Vaccine is being administered according to protocols from the federal government and New York state.
Individuals with underlying health conditions and people who are elderly receive priority. When more doses become available, patients will be scheduled for the vaccine based on the factors established by the state, beginning with those with underlying high-risk conditions and the elderly.
“With the arrival of the Moderna vaccine, we are putting plans in place to assure that all of our patients who want to be vaccinated can receive the vaccine,” said Dr. Laurie Donohue, chief medical officer of Jordan Health. “I am also receiving the vaccine and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated. It is safe and effective and the best way for us to stop the disproportionate impact on our communities of color.”
Once the state makes vaccines available to patients, Jordan Health will contact them to schedule appointments. In the meantime, individuals who have symptoms or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 can be tested at the Jordan Health Respiratory Clinic located in the Anthony L. Jordan Center. People can call (585) 423-5848 to schedule an appointment.