First Responders Spotlight: Nurse leads vaccine effort during pandemic, giving thousands of doses

First Responders Spotlight

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The vaccine effort across the region has been a giant lift for medical care facilities. Registered Nurse Paula Rossi has been called an invaluable asset during the COVID-19 pandemic at Rochester Regional Health. During the first surge, she helped to administer tests. Since then, she’s been getting thousands of shots into arms for the vaccine push. 

Rossi quickly took on added responsibility and stepped into a leadership role at multiple sites. 
“I’ve been doing this since about December, you know, we moved from Unity over to here. Lots of different locations. I think the response has been very good. We’ve got people who are excited to be here,” she says.

Director of Nursing Stephanie Dodd says at times, 600-plus people can come through here a day for vaccine shots. Paula, she says, rolls with the punches.

“She has held down the fort here, and is one of the few people we’ve trusted to do that,” says Dodd. (Our friends at Bill Gray’s also recognizing Rossi’s effort and thanked her with some special treats.) 

For those who might have doubts about the vaccine, Rossi, like many in the medical field, are urging all to get the shot, saying it’s the biggest step towards normalcy. “I would say overall, it is very safe. We haven’t seen any reactions– significant reactions,” she says.

Rossi says we’re not out of this yet, people are still getting COVID every day. As a nurse, she’s seen the worst side of the pandemic.  “Keep your friends and family close and tell them you love them. These things are unprecedented events. Nobody ever would have thought this was going to happen.”

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