Historic Storm Doesn’t Stop Historic Vaccinations

Albany Med students report to work despite historic storm

A severe winter storm didn’t stop the first round of Covid-19 vaccinations for Albany Med staff, thanks in part to a group of dedicated Albany Medical College students.

"Despite the weather, we all trekked here on foot and were so happy for the opportunity to serve the Albany Med community," said Sarah Martinez, ’22, who joined a handful of classmates to help administer the vaccine to staff.

When college administrators sent out a call for student volunteers earlier this week, they "easily heard from 30 students within the first hour," said Mara McErlean, MD, director of the Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center at Albany Medical College. "We have close to 30 inches of snow in some places and these students are still just plain grateful for being able to help."

For these third-year medical students, it’s a no-brainer. Not only are they obtaining valuable experience, it’s an opportunity to be part of something greater.

"We are honored to be part of this monumental public health initiative and to help during what is arguably one of the biggest public health crises of our generation," Martinez said.

The vaccine is a major step in our efforts to care for our community through the pandemic—and we strongly encourage everyone to obtain a vaccination as availability expands. Albany Med is following a tiered distribution plan. Plan development was led by the Alden March Bioethics Institute collaborating with an interdisciplinary team and is in line with New York State recommendations. The distribution plan prioritizes health care workers in settings where there is increased risk of transmitting the virus to employees and patients who are at elevated risk of morbidity or mortality. At the moment, Albany Med has a limited supply of the vaccine, though more doses are expected in the coming days and weeks. Every employee who would like a vaccine will receive one.