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‘Stunning achievement’ - Westchester doctor describes getting COVID-19 vaccine after mass hospitalizations earlier this year

A doctor at Westchester Medical Center is among the first in the area to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

News 12 Staff

Dec 16, 2020, 3:15 AM

Updated 1,284 days ago

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A doctor at Westchester Medical Center is among the first in the area to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Tuesday was day two of vaccinations in New York state. 
Health care workers in the Hudson Valley got vaccinated Tuesday within the Northwell Health System, St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers and the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.
Dr. Dipak Chandy was one of the first to get vaccinated Tuesday. He said an hour after receiving the shot, he was feeling great.
“Barely even felt the needle stick and certainly now it’s been about an hour or so since I took the vaccine, and certainly there’s absolutely nothing different that I feel,” he said.
Chandy says getting vaccinated felt surreal. He was there front and center in the ICU during the first devastating wave of coronavirus-related hospitalizations.
“To me it’s just stunning to be sitting here…less than nine months after our first patients rolled into the hospital with COVID, that I’m sitting here talking about this. I think that’s just a stunning achievement,” said Chandy.
The doctor says his colleagues in the emergency department and ICU will be vaccinated first. He says the rest of the line will be determined by the hospital, CDC guidelines and other priorities. 
About 40 employees at St. John’s Riverside Hospital were vaccinated Tuesday and about 50 in the Northwell Health system. Northwell says more than 50,000 of their 70,000 employees are expected to be vaccinated by the end of January.
Area hospitals may be getting another big shipment within a few days. Moderna is having its FDA hearing Thursday. If approved, 346,000 doses of their vaccine will be shipped to New York.


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