covid-19 vaccine

LI Doctors Frustrated As No Timetable Given for Offices to Get COVID Vaccines

A group of private practice doctors and medical personnel are questioning New York's vaccine rollout, criticizing the lack of communication and leaving them asking: "Why aren't we as important?"

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There's new concern and questions on Long Island regarding the vaccine rollout there, with a group of doctors who work in private offices and practices asking a valid question: When's their turn?

Take the pediatric practice of Dr. Marc Lashley, located in a Valley Stream strip mall. It may seem like it is a long ways from the COVID front lines, but appearances can be deceiving.

"Every day we are exposed, like yesterday we saw five positives," Dr. Lashley said.

The lab manager there helps conduct about 20 coronavirus tests each day in the office's parking lot. Inside the practice, the virus may be even more abundantly found. There are about 200 children and their parents — some infected with the virus — in the clinic every day.

It's because of these numbers that Dr. Lashley is wondering why there has been no timetable for getting the COVID vaccine to offices like his.

"There's very little communication. We're very frustrated and anxious," he said, calling New York's vaccine rollout disappointing and inadequate. "We want someone to tell us when it's going to happen so we could hang our hat on that."

Lashley said that the lack of answers is forcing him and his staff members to unnecessarily put themselves in harm's way continuously.

"We see on the news people are getting (the vaccine), this hospital and that hospital, and we're in the same position as them," said medical assistant Amanda Staszewski. "So why haven't we gotten it? ... We need it now, we're exposed everyday. We're bringing it home to our families."

Other medical personnel are asking the same thing. Some 3,000 in the field have already signed an online petition calling for the immediate vaccination of outpatient health care workers in New York.

"We feel left behind, and ignored. We fell there has been no communication with us and we're very frustrated," Dr. Lashley said. "They're sending out emails saying don't worry and wait, but no information about when we will be vaccinated and how?"

"It just makes me question: Why aren't we as important?" asked Staszewski.

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