COVID-19 Vaccine Update

December 07, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine availability. Although the number of COVID-19 cases in our area and across the U.S. continues to rise, there is some good news on the horizon: by mid-December, we expect to receive shipments of COVID-19 vaccine and begin distribution within our organizations. Early reports indicate that the vaccine is extremely safe and highly effective. When we receive the final FDA report, we will provide additional information.  

We have spent a number of weeks preparing for this opportunity. Our plans encompass prioritizing employee groups to receive the vaccine, managing our allocation, shipping and storage, distribution, and records management. 

We are following federal and state recommendations for vaccine distribution, which means that our front-line health care workers are at the head of the line, along with long-term care facility patients. 

The logistics of transporting, storing, and administering these vaccines are complex, and will be further complicated by limited supplies of vaccine to start. We ask that you be patient and know that additional vaccine supplies will arrive in the coming weeks. 

At this time, we are not mandating that employees be vaccinated, but we strongly encourage it for your safety and for the safety of our patients. 

While the distribution of a vaccine will be an essential step in fighting this pandemic, in the interim it is still imperative that everyone continue to take the appropriate precautions, including masking, appropriate PPE, and social distancing, to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

We will provide more information to you as it becomes available. 

Augustine M.K. Choi, MD
Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean, Weill Cornell Medicine
Provost for Medical Affairs, Cornell University 

Anil Rustgi, MD
Interim Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center  

Steven J. Corwin, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital 

Laura L. Forese, MD
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital