COVID-19 vaccine town hall: Experts answer your questions


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The vaccine has arrived and a critical care nurse who has treated COVID-19 patients in hard-hit New York City became the first person in the state to receive the vaccine Monday as part of campaign to inoculate front-line health care workers.

On Wednesday at 5 p.m., News 8 hosted a special coronavirus town hall, and local experts took your questions about the pandemic, the vaccine and its distribution.

Answering your questions were Dr. Emil Lesho and Dr. Maryrose Laguio-Vila, Rochester Regional Health infectious disease specialists.

Your questions:

Marilyn E: Does Rochester have a representative on the NYS COVID-19 distribution and implementation task force? If so who is it? If not why not?

Once nursing homes and hospital workers get the vaccine and we go to phase 2, how are regular people going to be able to get the vaccine?

  • Where will it be available?
  • How do we find out when we are eligible to get the the vaccine?
  • Do we have to contact someone to get it?
  • Hows’ it going to be distributed to the general public?

Karen M: If you wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, how does the group size play into things? Do you have to limit your gathering to 10 people? Is it a size limit if people aren’t wearing masks?

Marjorie W: On page 10 of TIME December 14, 2020 it states “Scientists are encouraged, and even surprised, by the magnitude of the protection … But those same public-health experts also warn that vaccines aren’t the panacea that many desperately hope they will be. That’s because, for now, the studies show that rather than preventing a person from getting infected, these shots appear to keep   people from getting dangerously sick.” Please elaborate on this statement.  I think a lot of us are under a false understanding or belief.

Susan G: If one gets the COVID-19 vaccine from one of the companies, 21 days later can they get the shot from another company’s vaccine or do they have to stay with the original company? In other words, for example if one gets the Pfizer vaccine can one 21 days later get the vaccine made by Moderna?

MaryAnn: After healthcare workers and nursing home residents, who will be the next group to receive the vaccine? If it is those with compromised immune systems, how will they be expected to prove they do in fact have a compromised immune system?

Bill: I have a few questions.

Question 1: When the vaccine is ready to be available to the general public, what will be the procedure that will be used for us to get the vaccine ( we are both over 65)? Will we go to our doctors office or our local pharmacy like we do to get the flu shot (Rite Aid we use for the flu shot) or Will we be required to schedule an appointment to get these shots?How will we be informed of when/where to get this vaccine?

Question 2: I have heard that we will be given a card that shows we got the vaccine and when we got it. That we will be required to show this card when we go and get our second shot. Also, is there any talk that we would need to carry this card with us and show this card as proof that we got the vaccine. Say when we want to go on a plane, go on a train or go to a restaurant, movies, YMCA, kids going to school, etc?  Would we need to show this card as proof that we got the vaccine?

Mary V: How will vaccines be distributed to the elderly (90+ years) who are not care home residents? Will they be given the same priority as nursing home residents?

C: We have a niece that works in the health industry.  She is reluctant to get the vaccine because she heard that there is a chance that infertility could be one of the side effects.

Richard: Is the vaccine required to be given ONLY by your state of residency? My wife and I are leaving for Florida Dec 22 and won’t be back until the end of April. We are 70 and 72 years old. How will we get our vaccine?

Michael: A question regarding NYS testing requirements for visitors to the state.  Where in Monroe County can an out-of-state visitor get the Covid test that is required after being in the state for 4 days?  

Judy: 1.)  If you are moved to an out of network hospital for the purpose of managing hospital bed capacity, will your insurance cover the expense? 2.)  What are the resources to guide preparing to care for a COVID-19 patient at home?

Anonymous: I am a pregnant nurse in the healthcare field, is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for my baby and I?

Anonymous: If the Moderna vaccine gets approved and is safe for children to receive, would schools be able to administer them to the children with parent consent similar to how they did the testing?

Anonymous: I would like to how there can be such a difference in storage temp for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines? 

Anonymous: Are there any failsafe/back up/ contingency plans for if the virus/es ‘backfire’? Meaning, are we going to vaccinate our entire medical staff, as well as support staff from the beginning – or, are we only going to vaccinate maybe 75% of them, and wait for any unforeseen side effects, to make sure we don’t loose our entire front line force?

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