Chancellor Malatras Announces SUNY Upstate Medical University Begins Administering Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dosage as the Hospital Uses 100% of Initial Vaccine Allotment

January 6, 2021

Frontline Personnel at All Three SUNY Hospitals Now Receiving Second Dose of Vaccine

SUNY Upstate's #1 Ranked Saliva Test Able to Detect UK COVID Strain

Photos From Today's Announcement are Available Here

Syracuse, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras today announced that SUNY Upstate Medical University has begun administering the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to frontline personnel and has distributed 100 percent of its initial vaccine allotment after receiving its first three deliveries last month. SUNY Upstate medical staff have now begun administering another allotment of the vaccine received this week.

Frontline healthcare personnel across SUNY's three university medical hubs are now receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to Upstate Medical, which began the second dose on Monday, Stony Brook University Hospital began administering the second dose today, and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University began administering their second dose yesterday when it announced that it used 100 percent of its vaccine allotment. In accordance with guidance issued by the New York State Department of Health, Upstate Medical, Downstate Medical, and Stony Brook University Hospital vaccinations are being provided to healthcare personnel at high risk for transmitting or becoming infected with the virus.

During a visit to Upstate Medical, Chancellor Malatras met with President Mantosh Dewan, Upstate University Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr. Robert Corona, and healthcare personnel to discuss the vaccination distribution process, as well as Upstate Medical's COVID-19 test, which was recently named most accurate saliva test in the world by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The test detects the UK strain of the virus, which experts believe is markedly more contagious and was discovered in Saratoga County earlier this week. Upstate Medical's saliva test will continue to be used regularly by SUNY campuses for mandatory testing of students, faculty, and staff ahead of and throughout the spring semester.

"It's hard to overstate how much Upstate Medical University and their hospital frontline personnel and researchers have done in the battle against COVID-19 over the last 10 months," said Chancellor Malatras. "From treating COVID-19 patients to developing the world's most accurate saliva test to leading vaccine trials, SUNY staff and students have tirelessly worked to bring the virus to heel. Our three university hospitals are proving that SUNY can set the standard for distributing the vaccine in an efficient manner while also handling a winter wave of the virus. There are many heroes at SUNY Upstate and across the SUNY system."

SUNY Upstate Medical University President Mantosh Dewan, M.D., said, "Upstate Medical University was thrilled to begin administering second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to members of our Phase 1A staff Jan. 4. It is critical that we keep our frontline workers—especially those treating COVID-positive patients—safe, healthy, protected and working, and the two-part vaccine will help us do that. We are working diligently to vaccinate as many of our own staff as quickly as possible—while also serving as the hub for a five-county region—in order to curb the virus and protect our staff and the larger community."

SUNY's hospitals have been at the forefront of caring for patients in some of the hardest hit locations, including SUNY Downstate Health Sciences, serving as a COVID-only hospital, and Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island during the first surge in cases last spring. Upstate Medical Infectious Disease Chief Dr. Stephen Thomas served as principal investigator for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which was approved last month.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit suny.edu.


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