CUNY partners with NYC Health + Hospitals to support vaccination operation


Rachel Dalloo

Approximately a thousand nursing students from CUNY will be teaming up with the NYC Health + Hospitals system to help with the New York City’s vaccine rollout.

“NYC Health + Hospitals is eternally grateful for the support we’ve received from partners, like CUNY, through this pandemic that have sourced additional hands to help save lives,” Natalia Cineas, NYC Health & Hospitals senior vice president and system chief nurse executive, said. “We are confident the support from these students will further facilitate swift and safe workflow as vaccine supply increases and eligibility expands.”

Under the supervision by CUNY faculty, participating nursing students will be assigned to 11 hospitals and the Gotham Health community-based hospitals in order to provide support for the vaccine operation, according to amNY.

During their time helping with the vaccination rollout, the responsibilities of the students will include “clerical tasks, management of workflows, appointment logistics, vaccine administration, and monitoring required observation periods after patients receive their injection,” according to NYC Health + Hospitals.

The time spent working in the vaccination clinics will contribute toward the “required clinical hours” that is part of the nursing and health profession for participating students.

Starting the week of March 3, students were being deployed across the 11 hospital systems, as stated by NYC Health + Hospitals’ press release.

CUNY students are scheduled to remain with the public health system through the spring 2021 academic semester.

Prior to joining forces with NYC Health + Hospitals, students took part in a background check, employee orientation, revision of the general HIPAA compliance regulations and completed an online training course regarding information about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Some of the courses taught included,“COVID-19 Vaccine: Training for Pfizer & Moderna Vaccine Administration” and “COVID-19 Vaccination Training for RNs & LPNs,” according to NYC Health + Hospitals.

“CUNY’s health professional students are proud to support our partner, NYC Health + Hospitals, on local vaccine administration to help stop the pandemic in New York City,” CUNY Dean for Health and Human Services Patricia Simino Boyce said. “Our students – and our University – value the opportunity to serve at this important time.”

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement on March 7 that approximately 10 million New Yorkers are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Additionally, more than 5.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, according to the governor’s website.

“Millions of New Yorkers have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and with the numbers remaining steady we are able to loosen the reopening valve more,” Cuomo said. “We’re expanding our efforts to ensure equity in the vaccine distribution process by reaching underserved communities and working with local leaders, and the federal government is steadily increasing supply. We have a robust distribution network that exceeds available supply, and we’ll continue to open new vaccination sites in partnership with federal and local governments, healthcare providers and community organizations. In the meantime, New Yorkers must continue to be vigilant and smart because this pandemic is not over.”

As of press time, those who are eligible to receive the vaccine include some essential workers, New Yorkers over the age of 65 and those with pre-existing conditions. Eligible people can schedule an appointment to receive the shot on the city’s website.