Coronavirus Update New York City: Inside look at how Mount Sinai will distribute vaccine

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Eyewitness News got a first-hand look at how one group of hospitals in NYC plans to give out the COVID-19 vaccine to everyday New Yorkers.

Mount Sinai has created vaccination pods and about a dozen stations are set up side by side at Mount Sinai Queens as well as near the lobby at Mount Sinai on the Upper East Side.

Dr. Christopher Strother, Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai, is one of the frontline workers who received a shot in the arm.

"Really smooth actually, they did such a great job here of being set up and ready to go. I came in, you just get checked in, sat down, they walk you through the consent, really explain here's what we know and don't know," Strother said.

The whole process from beginning to end -- when they ask you questions on a questionnaire to when they administer the vaccine -- takes less than 10 minutes.

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And then they put you into a separate room to monitor for any immediate side effects. It is the standard process for any vaccination.

"It's a big day for us to see it really come to reality and the vaccine be a real thing, so I woke up real excited this morning, knowing I was coming in to get the vaccine, it means a lot," Strother said.

It's easy to forget that frontline workers have families they are worried about.

Dr. Gopi Patel is in charge of infection prevention at Mount Sinai and was vaccinated Tuesday.

"I get to tell my 7-year-old that maybe third grade will look a lot different than second grade," Patel said. "She's a New York City public school student and she's an only child and she gets really lonely and she gets, hopefully, I get to tell her when more people get vaccinated, and if we all keep doing the things that we've been doing, maybe in the summer playgrounds will look different."

Patel said the health care workers who have already been vaccinated are probably smiling under their masks.

Strother said the vaccination means tomorrow starts a new day.

"Sixteen million cases, 300,000 deaths, really the only question is when's your turn?" Patel said.

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