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Dr. Chad A. Shepherd, DNP, FNP, EMT-P, EMT-T, EMS coordinator for the Niagara County Office of Emergency Management, provides Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a point-of-dispensing event.
Dr. Chad A. Shepherd, DNP, FNP, EMT-P, EMT-T, EMS coordinator for the Niagara County Office of Emergency Management, provides Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a point-of-dispensing event.

NCDOH distributing vaccinations

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Wed, Mar 24th 2021 02:20 pm

Niagara County Department of Health receives Johnson & Johnson vaccine, prioritizes at-risk populations at hybrid pod in partnership with Niagara County Emergency Management

The Niagara County Department of Health received 500 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from New York state and quickly set up point-of-dispensing (POD) operations to ensure prompt use.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose; therefore we prioritized our appointments for homecare staff and clients as well as individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions,” Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said.

“We promptly worked with local homecare agencies that service individuals in Niagara County, in addition to group homes, person-centered services, and Office for the Aging to share our registration information to effectively prioritize at-risk populations,” Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness Elise Pignatora said.

The DOH and Niagara County Emergency Management are working together to offer a hybrid POD today. More than 1,550 vaccinations will be conducted.

Johnson & Johnson drive-thru POD.

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While the NCDOH conducts Moderna first-dose COVID-19 vaccinations inside, the Niagara County Office of Emergency Management will be conducting drive-thru Johnson & Johnson vaccination outside on the same day.

“Our support of Niagara County PODs has been consistent since the very beginning, and we are happy to provide this additional support to ensure a safe and accessible drive-thru vaccination process for at-risk populations,” stated Jonathan Schultz, director of emergency services and fire coordinator. “It takes only about 13 minutes from arrival to vaccination for participants at our drive-thru portion of the POD.”

Pignatora said, “We have protocols in place to ensure a safe vaccination process for all participants. At every POD, wheelchairs are made available by staff and volunteers in functional needs roles. Additionally, a team may be sent out to the parking lot to vaccinate individuals in their vehicle as needed. This option is most desired by individuals whose health and safety may be compromised if moved from the vehicle to a public building.”

Stapleton said, “The drive-thru model is an ideal option for at-risk populations who are transported to our PODs. We are grateful for our longstanding partnership with Niagara County Emergency Management and making this hybrid POD model a success.”

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and availability, visit the Niagara County Department of Health website at https://www.niagaracounty.com/health or follow NCDOH on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/niagaracountyhealth.

The Niagara County Office of Emergency Management team conducts a Johnson & Johnson vaccination drive-thru. From left: Miranda Hayes, Dan Leven, Michelle Williams, Chad Shepherd, Jonathan Schultz and Lacey Gawel.

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