Memorial to Hold Offsite Vaccination Clinics as State Expands List of Those Who Are Eligible

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By: Staff Reporter

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will dispense COVID-19 vaccine to those who qualify at the Niagara Falls City School District Field House on the Niagara Falls High School campus. Although people must belong to an eligible priority group to be vaccinated, the state this week significantly expanded its list of those groups.

“I applaud School Superintendent Mark Laurrie for making this spacious and very accessible facility available to us,” said Memorial Medical Center President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. “It vastly improves our ability to serve our neighbors as we strive to defeat the virus that causes COVID-19.”

“The Niagara Falls City School District is pleased to continue its unprecedented partnership with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to serve our community at the forefront of health and safety,” Laurrie said. “We are always happy to support their efforts.”

Among those added to the state’s eligibility list as Priority 1B were:

  • People age 65 and older
  • State and local firefighters, both paid and volunteer
  • Law enforcement personnel in state, county and local police agencies
  • School district staff including teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, support staff and bus drivers
  • Public-facing grocery store workers

As is the case with other regional hospitals, Memorial is experiencing periodic vaccine shortages due to overwhelming demand and short supply. Therefore, the scheduling of vaccine events will depend on the availability of the vaccine Memorial receives.

The medical center will continue to vaccinate members of Priority Group 1A, which

includes front line health care workers, nursing home residents, emergency medical services personnel and residents of group homes overseen by state agencies such as the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities and the Office of Mental Health.

“To date we have administered close to 2,500 vaccines to healthcare workers and providers, nursing home residents and others prioritized in groups 1A and 1B,” Ruffolo said.  “Memorial Medical Center is fully invested in this effort. As COVID-19 vaccine becomes available we will continue to reach out to those priority groups.”

Top photo: Memorial Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Vijay Bojedla, M.D., shows off a sign that says “I got the shot.” Vaccine recipients posed for photos with the sign during a COVID-19 vaccination event held Wednesday at the NDCSD Field House. Dr. Bojedla provided medical oversight at the event.

Bottom: Pharmacy Director Michelle Lewis, left, and Amy Wojciechowski, Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship Coordinator at Memorial Medical Center, were on hand to direct Wednesday’s event

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