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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,” Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said. “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”:
√ 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 frontline 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 health care 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.”
Pharmacy Director Michelle Lewis, left, and Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship Coordinator Amy Wojciechowski were on hand at Memorial Medical Center to direct Wednesday’s event.