Hospital CEOs Discuss COVID Vaccine at Palisades Institute Forum

Montefiore Nyack Hospital CEO Dr. Mark Geller assured those participating in a Palisades Institute forum on COVID-19 that the rapid development of the vaccines should not be a concern.  He stressed that  research and development about coronaviruses and Messenger RNA have been going on for years.  What was speeded up, Dr. Geller explained, was production of a vaccine that was targeted to this particular virus.  Dr. Geller cautioned against waiting to get a vaccine or trying to get one vaccine over the other.  He said both vaccines are safe and effective.

“When and if a vaccine is available to you – take it.  Don’t ask which one it is – take it,” said Dr. Geller. “The sooner we get to 80% vaccination of the community, the sooner we will return to normalcy —  in the economy, in our personal lives — until we get to that place of what is called herd immunity,”

Bon Secours Charity Health System CEO Dr. Mary Leahy also participated in the January 14, 2021 Zoom forum.  “Masks work. Social distancing works.  We believe the vaccine works and if we are just patient and continue to do those things we will be in a far better place by the end of this year,” she said. ”But we all have to do this together.”  Both Dr. Geller and Dr. Leahy expect the availability of the vaccine to increase in the near future.

About 125 people participated in the Palisades Institute forum, “Defining the Future:  The Impact of COVID-19 on Rockland County’s Healthcare System.”