BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Family doctors want a role in getting COVID-19 shots in arms.
“This is an existing infrastructure that already works well, we vaccinate people everyday in our office for many different things, we’ve done that for years,” Madejski said.
Dr. Thomas Madejski is an internal medicine physician practicing in Albion and Medina, and a former president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. He said physicians should receive vaccine allocations.
He said some of his patients are skeptical about the vaccine, unable to go to a site, or have trouble registering. He said these patients already have a relationship with him and go to his office.
“Just using pharmacies and vaccination centers is gonna miss a significant percentage of the population, and delay us getting to that herd immunity,” Madejski said.
Jericho Road is a Federally Qualified Health Center. That means it does receive allocations from the state. Founder Dr. Myron Glick said it has vaccinated more than 3,500 people so far.
“I’ve had a number of patients that have told me they’re getting it because I called them," Glick said. "They were on the fence, they weren’t sure if they wanted it.”
Jericho Road will also receive vaccines directly from the federal government, Glick said Jericho Road can start ordering the vaccine March 4th. He said he hopes the steady allocation will allow Jericho to vaccinate between 200 and 300 people a day.
His office calls patients over 65 and who have underlying conditions.
“I think that hands on approach it really is what sets primary care doctors apart because we know our patients, and we can easily generate a list, and a phone number, and give them a call,” Glick said.
The Johson and Johnson vaccine is one step closer to being authorized. In the 7 Eyewitness News coronavirus town hall, a viewer asked if the one dose vaccine will be made available at doctor's offices.
“We sure do hope so," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen. "This has been a concern for physicians all along. there are hundreds of physicians offices who have signed up to be vaccinators, none of them have gotten vaccine.”
Dr. Nancy Nielsen from the WNY Vaccination Planning Team said the expansion to those with underlying conditions makes it important to get the vaccine to doctors.
Madejski said the plan should be in place.
“We’re fully cognizant of the issues with supply, which is the main issue right now, but to not have something in place to move when we have the vaccine is poor preparation,” Madejski said.
7 Eyewitness News asked the New York State Department of Health if there is any plan to expand allocations to doctor's offices once supply increases. It responded saying allocations are made to ensure equity across regions, the priority populations being served, and the capacity to administer it.
Their full statement is below.
“New York is making tremendous progress in vaccinating eligible New Yorkers despite what continues to be an insufficient supply of vaccines, and we continue to do everything possible to get as many New Yorkers vaccinated as quickly, fairly, and equitably as possible. We've established community-targeted mass vaccination sites, community-based pop up sites, and partnerships with faith groups and community clinics. Allocations are made to ensure equity across geographic regions, the proportion of health care providers or priority populations being served, and the capacity to administer it. DOH is monitoring inventory to ensure vaccine is administered as soon as it is received. In Western New York, we have used 92% of our current allocation and administered over 297,643 shots, including both first and second doses. As supply increases from the federal government, so too will our partners, and we stand ready to get more shots into people’s arms.”