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covid-19 vaccine

Photo courtesy of Ron Monteleone

Suffolk County Legislator Nick Caracappa (R-Selden) hosted a “Rally for Freedom” event last weekend in Selden to support the essential workers in healthcare, education and other professions who are at risk of losing their jobs for choosing not to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, over 250 people were in attendance, and testimony was given by teachers, nurses, first responders, elected officials including State Senator Mario Mattera (R-St. James) and Assemblywoman, Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead),  along with those who lost loved ones from COVID-19.

The goal was to implore Governor Kathy Hochul (D) to listen to our communities and try to find some middle ground so that people don’t lose their jobs as a result of these restrictive mandates.

“New Yorkers, particularly those in Suffolk County and within my district, have worked hard to keep us safe during Covid by risking their lives and putting their families second for those who needed them,” Caracappa said. “Now, they feel deserted and desperate to have a voice. I want them to know that I am here to listen and stand with them against these irresponsible, unjustified and unwarranted mandates. They rallied for us when we were in need. Now we must rally for them.”

Caracappa said the event was not an “anti-vaccine” rally.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “I personally chose to get vaccinated. And I respect those who choose not to. This isn’t a dispute about a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s about keeping our constitutional right of freedom that our Founding Fathers fought and died for. Thank you so much for the support from all of our speakers, members of the SCPD and the Selden, Farmingville, Centereach and Coram Fire Departments, DJ Top Entertainment, and for local businesses who donated food, like Slice’s Pizza, Duck Donuts and Chick-Fil-A. As I always say, you can’t spell Community without UNITY!”

Photo by Julianne Mosher

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY1) rallied with health care workers to boycott Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) vaccination deadline, Sept. 27.

Zeldin, who is campaigning for governor, joined other elected officials outside the state building in Hauppauge Monday just hours before health care workers were required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by midnight or risk losing their jobs.

On Monday night, Hochul signed an executive order to significantly expand the eligible workforce and allow additional health care workers to administer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. 

According to the mandate, if health care workers do not receive at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines by the end of day Monday — without a medical exemption or having previously filed for a religious exemption — they will forfeit their jobs. 

The congressman has been vocal over the mandates, locally and nationally. 

“Our health care workers were nothing short of heroic the past 18 months,” Zeldin said. “We shouldn’t be firing these essential workers. We should be thanking them for all they’ve done for our communities.”

Zeldin was calling on Hochul to work with medical facilities and the state’s health care workers to “implement a more reasonable policy that does not violate personal freedoms, fire health care workers who helped us through the pandemic’s worst days, and cause chaos and staffing shortages at hospitals and nursing homes.”

Hochul stated this week that to fill the vacancies in hospitals, she plans to bring in the National Guard and other out-of-state health care workers to replace those who refuse to get vaccinated.

“You’re either vaccinated and can keep your job, or you’re out on the street,” said Zeldin, who is vaccinated.

State Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James) said he was angered when health care employees were given limited ability to negotiate the vaccine mandate through their unions.

“This isn’t a state of emergency, like a hurricane,” he said. “This is a state of emergency that people get fired, and not going to have unemployment insurance. I am a union leader. This is a disgrace to all Americans.”

According to the state Department of Labor, unvaccinated workers who are terminated from their jobs will not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. A new Republican-led bill introduced in Albany would restore those jobless benefits.

On Tuesday, the state released data noting the percentage of hospital staff receiving at least one dose was 92% (as of Monday evening) based on preliminary self-reported data. The percentage of fully vaccinated was 85% as of Monday evening, up from 84% on Sept. 22 and 77% on Aug. 24.

 “This new information shows that holding firm on the vaccine mandate for health care workers is simply the right thing to do to protect our vulnerable family members and loved ones from COVID-19,” Hochul said in a statement. “I am pleased to see that health care workers are getting vaccinated to keep New Yorkers safe, and I am continuing to monitor developments and ready to take action to alleviate potential staffing shortage situations in our health care systems.”

Long Island’s three health care providers have already implemented the mandate and are taking action. 

Northwell Health, the state’s largest private employer and health care provider — and which includes Port Jefferson’s Mather Hospital and Huntington Hospital — previously notified all unvaccinated team members that they are no longer in compliance with New York State’s mandate to vaccinate all health care workers by the Sept. 27 deadline.

“Northwell regrets losing any employee under such circumstances, but as health care professionals and members of the largest health care provider in the state, we understand our unique responsibility to protect the health of our patients and each other,” Northwell said in a statement. “We owe it to our staff, our patients and the communities we serve to be 100% vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Catholic Health Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Jason Golbin said in a statement that the provider is “incredibly proud of our staff’s dedication to protecting the health and safety of Long Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic and are grateful for their heroic efforts over the last 18 months.”

He added, “In keeping with our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our patients, visitors, medical staff and employees, we are complying with the New York State vaccine mandate for all health care workers.”

Golbin said that as of Tuesday, Sept. 28, the vast majority of staff is fully vaccinated with only a few hundred people furloughed from across six hospitals, three nursing facilities, home health care, hospice and other physician practices. 

Stony Brook University officials added Stony Brook medicine has been preparing for New York State’s mandate all healthcare workers get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the deadline. 

As of 8 p.m. on Sept. 28, 94.07% of Stony Brook University Hospital employees have been vaccinated, and this number continues to increase, 134 Stony Brook University Hospital employees are being placed on suspension without pay and will be scheduled to meet with Labor Relations representatives to discuss their circumstances. While awaiting this meeting, they can use vacation or holiday time off. If they continue to elect not to receive the vaccine, they will be terminated in accordance with the NYS DOH order. 

Less than 1% of the hospital’s total employee population are in a probationary employment period and while they are currently suspended without pay, they are still eligible to be vaccinated before their terminations are processed and could still return to work. 

Officials said these numbers are fluid and are expecting further declines.

Photo from Stony Brook Medicine

As we continue to battle against the coronavirus and approach flu season, it’s imperative that we know the facts about the vax. This Tuesday, August 17, join experts from Stony Brook Medicine as they discuss the importance of and science behind vaccines during a LIVE virtual event. Our experts will dispel misconceptions and address concerns surrounding key vaccinations, including those for COVID-19, the flu, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

The ongoing pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for healthcare providers and patients. A recent study showed a 71% drop in healthcare visits for 7 to 17-year-olds, when critical vaccines like Tdap, HPV, and meningitis are given. The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls at age 11 or 12 because it works best when given before exposure to HPV. It can be given as early as age nine, and through age 26 for both men and women, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger. The vaccine is safe with more than 270 million doses having been given worldwide since 2006. Even though the HPV vaccine can prevent many cancers caused by HPV infection, nearly half of adolescents in New York State are not getting the vaccine as recommended.

Every year in New York, nearly 2,600 people are diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV. To help educate those across Long Island about the importance of HPV vaccination for cancer prevention in adolescents, the Stony Brook University Cancer Center received a grant funded by the New York State Department of Health and Health Research Inc. This allows Stony Brook, the first and only institution on Long Island to be part of the Cancer Prevention in Action (CPIA) program, an opportunity to further promote the importance of the HPV vaccine as cancer prevention.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at Noon EST

The livestream event can be seen on:

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stonybrookmedicine/posts/4181276798594857


Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlmY5d_QUTE

Moderator Sharon Nachman


  • Sharon Nachman, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Dean for Research at the Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University & Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital


  • Jill Cioffi, MD, FAAP, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University and Medical Director of Ambulatory Primary Care Pediatrics, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

  • Lauren Ng, DO, FAAP, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University and Primary Care Pediatrics, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

For more information on Stony Brook Medicine’s vaccine program visit, https://www.stonybrookmedicine.edu/vaccine

This program is supported with funding from the State of New York. The views expressed in this educational event and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the State.

Pixabay photo

We thought that the end was near with the coronavirus, but unfortunately the new Delta variant has people across the country concerned. 

While many people — 68% of New Yorkers ages 18 and older — have been fully vaccinated, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said this week that 21 Long Island zip codes have low vaccination rates. The state will spend $15 million to target these communities in an effort to get more people vaccinated. 

During his press conference on Monday, Cuomo said that new daily cases have been jumping due to the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus. 

Cuomo added that about 75% of adults in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but 25% have not — which is a total of 3.5 million people. Only 0.15% of people in the state who are vaccinated have become infected with the virus.

While things have opened up again, and life seems to be back to normal, the Delta variant can change that quickly. In areas that Cuomo named, which included parts of Rocky Point, Miller Place, Selden, Port Jefferson Station and Lake Grove, the $15 million funding from the state budget will be used to strengthen communication, expand public education and enhance ongoing outreach efforts throughout diverse communities.

But that isn’t enough. 

The fact that so many people are choosing not to get vaccinated, and who are not being careful in doing so, is concerning. We understand that there are people who have extreme health issues that prevent them from getting the jab, and we respect that. We understand that everyone has the right to choose to be vaccinated, but when there is a public health crisis that has taken the lives of so many innocent people, how could one not choose to get the shot? 

There is a lot of false information out there, and it’s sad to see that no one trusts science anymore. What happened to March 2020 when everyone was in this together? Why did something like a shot to prevent getting sick become so polarizing? Why are people fighting in supermarkets if they choose to wear a mask for protection, and someone who is anti-mask disagrees? 

Of all the new and recent COVID-19 cases statewide, 72% come from the Delta variant. Don’t we want to get back to normal? Weddings are finally allowed to include more than 50 people. Meetings are in-person again. We have a lot to look forward to, and it would be so disappointing to fall back to where we were last year because of fear or misinformation. 

Protect yourself. Protect your friends and family. This can be prevented.

Photo from Pixabay

Working with the rideshare company Lyft, Suffolk County is offering free rides for senior citizens, veterans and people who are driving impaired to get their vaccinations for COVID-19 at county-run sites.

Starting on June 1, seniors who are over the age of 60, veterans and driving impaired residents can contact Suffolk 311 to schedule a pick-up and drop off to receive their inoculations.

The county would like residents to have an “equal ability to get their vaccines,” regardless of whether they have easy access to transportation, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said at a press conference announcing the program. “It’s not only good for them and their health: it’s good for all of us. It means that we will get closer to the numbers and the level of vaccinations we need to say that we have put this virus behind us.”

Suffolk County will be able to schedule and pay for the rides on behalf of residents, according to a Lyft spokeswoman.

The effort is a part of Lyft’s Universal Vaccine Access program, which started in December of 2020. Lyft has created more than 100 such partnerships and is facilitating access to rides throughout the country.

Lyft drivers will not wait outside while residents receive shots. County staff can arrange for pick up and drop off up to seven days in advance when residents call 311.

When seniors, veterans or driving impaired residents need transportation for their shots, county staff can request a ride using Lyft’s Concierge platform, which allows groups to request rides on behalf of those who may not have access to a smartphone or a bank account.

Bellone indicated that the county put out a competitive process to select a partner who could allow residents who don’t have access to a smartphone or who haven’t downloaded an app to secure a ride.

Lyft is committed to helping communities reach an “immunity that is going to get our economy back on track and our community back to normal,” Jen Hensley, head of government relations at Lyft said at the press conference.

Bellone shared his appreciation for the efforts of Senator Chuck Schumer (D).

“Without [Schumer’s] support, we wouldn’t be in a position to be able to offer a program like this,” Bellone said.

Vaccination efforts have helped reduce the spread of the virus, according to a recent interview with Gregson Pigott, commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Lyft has also partnered with the White House. 

From May 24 through July 4, anyone going to get their shots can get a ride code through the Lyft app or web site for two free rides during normal pharmacy hours of 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. of up to $15 each.

The county’s partnership with Lyft is the latest effort by Bellone to increase the number of people who have received the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Through a “Lift Your Spirit, Take Your Shot” campaign, residents who are 21 years old and over and who receive their shot at a Suffolk County run site during the month of May will get a ticket that they can redeem at a participating brewery, winery and distillery for a free beer, tasting, glass of wine or cocktail.

Eight businesses are participating in that effort, including Del Vino Vineyards in Northport.

The Town of Smithtown, in partnership with Kings Park Central School District and Rite Aid, successfully hosted the second and final round of COVID-19 Booster vaccines for 160 school employees and residents ages 50 and up, over the weekend. On Saturday, May 15, a temporary COVID-19 Vaccine Site was implemented at Kings Park High School. Rite Aid facilitated and administered 160 Moderna vaccines to those individuals who previously received their first dose, four weeks prior.

Kings Park Fire Department was on standby protocol in the event of an adverse reaction. Six KPHS National Honor Society students volunteered to assist with logistics and registration during the event, alongside staff from the Smithtown Senior Center and Supervisor Wehrheim’s Office.

“The entire event was smooth sailing thanks to an incredible partnership with Kings Park School District and Rite Aid. I am especially grateful to the team at our Smithtown Senior Center, as well as some incredible high school students, all who volunteered their Saturdays to serve the people of our community,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

Approximately 160 Moderna vaccines were supplied and administered to Smithtown residents and surrounding school district employees courtesy of Rite Aid Pharmacy. Vaccines were administered by healthcare professionals from Rite Aid. Residents were then monitored during the required 20 minute observation period. The average appointment took a total of 30 minutes, with the bulk of time going towards monitoring. The Moderna booster vaccines were administered exactly four weeks from the date of each first vaccine appointment, held on Saturday, April 17th..

Rite Aid

Rite Aid announced on April 30 it is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine at all locations, spanning more than 2,500 stores in 17 states. Following the latest guidance from the Biden Administration, all those aged 16 years or older are now eligible for vaccination, and Rite Aid encourages everyone to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

While scheduling appointments in advance is recommended to reduce wait time and guarantee availability of the vaccine, Rite Aid is now also accommodating walk-in vaccines on a limited basis in every store. Enabling walk-in appointments supports customers that may not have access to internet while also meeting the need for flexibility for customers. People interested in a walk-in appointment are encouraged to visit their local Rite Aid to confirm availability.

“The availability of vaccines in every Rite Aid location is a major milestone in our ongoing effort to fight COVID-19. We’ve been on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic, working across our store footprint to bring testing and vaccines directly to local communities,” said Jim Peters, chief operating officer, Rite Aid. “Vaccine availability is improving every day, and our pharmacists are ready to administer vaccines safely and efficiently, providing the benefits of pharmacist-administered vaccines in a safe and sterile environment right in your neighborhood. Also, in addition to the grassroots efforts we’ve undertaken with our community partners, the availability of these walk-in appointments provides another way for those with limited or no technology access to more easily obtain COVID vaccines. We encourage everyone to make an appointment, or walk-in, today.”

Through its participation in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and as an Official COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider, Rite Aid has accelerated its COVID-19 immunization efforts as allocation has expanded. Rite Aid’s certified immunizing pharmacists are administering the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines.

Individuals ages 18 and over can schedule appointments using the Rite Aid scheduling tool found at www.RiteAid.com/covid-19. Those ages 16 and 17 can schedule an appointment with guardian consent at any store administering the Pfizer vaccine by contacting the store’s pharmacy directly. Those stores can be found here.

For more information about Rite Aid’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts, please visit www.RiteAid.com/covid-19.

County Executive Steve Bellone with Dr. Gregson Pigott in front of the vaccine pods in Hauppauge. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) is encouraging residents to get their COVID-19 vaccines.

On Thursday, April 29, he joined Dr. Gregson Pigott, commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Dr. Shaheda Iftikhar, deputy commissioner for the Department of Health Services and Holly Rhodes-Teague, director with the Suffolk County Office of the Aging outside the H. Lee Dennison Building to announce the second phase of the county’s “Take Your Shot” campaign. 

With vaccine hesitancy on the rise, the multi-media campaign will utilize TV, radio and targeted digital advertisements to address misinformation and build trust for those still on the fence. 

Bellone said at the press conference that as of April 29, there were 271 new cases of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours out of 15,628 tests. 

“That’s a positivity rate of 1.7%,” he said. “That is huge.”

He added the last time the county saw a number nearing the 2% mark was at the start of the virus’ second wave back in the fall around Halloween — before the Pfizer vaccine became available.

“We are below 2% positivity, but we’re back in that 1% range where we were throughout the summer last year, when we were still dealing with the pandemic with no vaccines,” he said. “So, this is significant.”

Bellone noted maintaining the lower number is proof that the vaccines are working.

Aline of people ready to get their vaccines. Photo by Julianne Mosher

“We want to get to the point when we say this virus is behind us once and for all, and the vaccines are the key to reaching our goal,” he said. “You need to be doing everything that we can to get people vaccinated to #TakeYourShot.”

The first phase of the Take Your Shot initiative was originally launched late last year in an effort to foster public awareness and designed to encourage county residents on the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccines. 

The second phase launched last week will continue to help remove potential barriers for people getting the vaccine. 

“As of yesterday [April 28], more than 660,000 residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Suffolk County,” he said. “That’s nearly 45% of our residents. While we’ve made tremendous progress over the last few months, at this point, there are no excuses, vaccines are available to everyone 16 and older.”

Right now, the Pfizer vaccine is the only shot eligible to teenagers, and Bellone said he’s encouraging high school juniors and seniors to do their part. 

“We have a lot of school-related activities that are opening up and coming back — prom, graduation — and we’re very excited that those are going to happen,” he said. “Getting vaccinated is a way to reduce the spread of the virus and make those big gatherings safe.”

Bellone had another message to young people. 

“You have a stake in this county,” he said. “You can be part of the effort to completely defeat this virus in and help save lives.”

The county also announced walk-in vaccination appointments available at select county vaccine pod locations.

“Our residents are busy, they want flexibility,” he said. 

Started on April 29, residents can visit the Selden campus at Suffolk County Community College and get their vaccines anytime between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. 

“We’ve seen promising progress,” he said. “As more of our economy continues to open up, we want to return to normalcy.”

Stock photo

By Leah Chiappino

With vaccination eligibility opening up, and supply increasing week by week, it has become easier to get a vaccine appointment. Still, some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers — the homebound residents — have been struggling to gain access to vaccines.

Port Jefferson EMS, which serves Port Jefferson, Belle Terre and Mount Sinai, announced April 8 it would offer homebound residents the opportunity to book at-home appointments in the coming weeks. 

However, PJEMS had to cancel all of the appointments when supplies were not received. The department’s deputy chief, Michael Presta, said PJEMS was approved by the New York State Department of Health a little over a month ago to be a vaccine distribution center, meaning they could set up pods and give vaccinations on-site. 

They were also approved to distribute in-home vaccines through the state Community Paramedicine Vaccination Program. But despite requesting doses once a week, they have yet to receive any doses. 

As they already set up the equipment, vehicles and staffing necessary for the at-home program, Presta said PJEMS reached out to the county to see if it could help. He said he was initially told the county was willing to allocate doses but has since been informed the department will need to get their doses from the state. 

In an email to Presta obtained by TBR dated April 12, Dr. Jason Winslow, director of EMS and Public Health Emergency Preparedness of Suffolk County, wrote that the county was not permitted to redistribute the doses it received from New York State.  

“The office of Suffolk County EMS has no involvement in the vaccination events other than to provide any EMS support the county requires,” the email read. Winslow suggested EMS providers join the county Medical Reserve Corps, and volunteer to give the vaccine at Suffolk vaccination pods.

The Town of Huntington was coordinating with several partners, such as the Visiting Nurse Service, to offer vaccines to residents, according to Lauren Lembo, the town’s public information officer. 

When New York State ceased using the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the 24 appointments the town had scheduled were canceled. The town was also in talks with the Health Equity Task Force of Suffolk County to coordinate with Northwell Health to have homebound appointments, which also did not come to fruition due to the Johnson & Johnson temporary pause. 

County spokeswoman, Marykate Guilfoyle, said the county vaccinated 198 homebound people before the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on hold. The county is waiting to see if this vaccine will be resumed before making a determination as to the next steps of the program. Appointments were made by residents who called the 311 hotline number, Guilfoyle said.

The Town of Smithtown has had similar struggles. They are looking into collaborating with St. Catherine of Siena Hospital to vaccinate the homebound, though they would likely only be able to vaccinate 10-to-20 people per week, and would only offer the program monthly due to the logistical challenges it poses. 

Smithtown public information officer, Nicole Garguilo, said that refrigeration requirements for certain vaccines, as well as the 15-minute time constraints for having to observe residents after they are vaccinated, make the feasibility of the program challenging. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, vaccines should not be unrefrigerated for more than eight hours. 

In Nassau County, a vaccination program was launched in order to provide vaccinations to homebound seniors. That, too, was put on hold after the temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

In New York City, a program was launched at the beginning of March using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and was suspended. The city is now continuing with the Moderna vaccine.

The Town of Smithtown, Kings Park Central School District and Rite Aid successfully hosted a satellite vaccine site for residents, ages 50+ and school employees over the weekend. On Saturday, April 17, a temporary COVID-19 vaccine site was implemented at Kings Park High School. Rite Aid facilitated and administered 180 Moderna vaccines for the appointment-only event. Emergency response support for the day was provided by the Kings Park Fire Department. Assisting with logistics and registration at the event were roughly a dozen KPHS National Honor Society students, staff from the Smithtown Senior Center and Supervisor Ed Wehrheim’s office.

“The stars must truly align in order to implement an initiative of this magnitude. Without the assistance from Rite Aid, a fantastic relationship with surrounding School Districts, a phenomenal team in my office and our compassionate Senior Center staff, our volunteer first responders, and the leadership of Dr. Timothy Eagen at Kings Park Central School District, we could not help our local residents and school staff. This vital service was a success because we united together; the private sector, the public and various government agencies, to protect our community,” said Supervisor Wehrheim.

Several weeks ago, the Kings Park Central School District officially designated Kings Park High School as a potential vaccination site for the community. While most teachers throughout the township had been successful in obtaining vaccine appointments, many support staff such as School Aids and Bus Drivers were in need of a convenient process to suit their individual schedules. 

“The purpose of this event was to provide an important public health service for our employees and local area Senior Citizens. Many employees and residents have experienced a significant amount of frustration and anxiety while trying to make a vaccination appointment. We wanted to take this potential roadblock away for those who are eligible and willing to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Timothy Eagen, KPCSD Superintendent of Schools

An important objective was to provide an easy registration process for those individuals who may have previously struggled with the online method. Eligible Smithtown residents and school faculty in the four surrounding districts were able to book appointments by phone or through email. Additionally, a dozen KPHS National Honor Society students were on hand, volunteering their time to assist in the registration and logistical process.

“You will not find a place on Earth where students embrace service more than in Kings Park. It was heartwarming to see about a dozen students give up a portion of their Saturday to assist in this public health effort, added Eagen.

Approximately 180 Moderna vaccines were supplied and administered to Smithtown residents and surrounding school district employees courtesy of Rite Aid Pharmacy. Individuals who received the vaccine on Saturday will return to Kings Park High School in 28 days to receive the Moderna booster shot.


If you receive either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you will need a booster shot to be fully protected.

COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. If you received a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you must get the same product/brand booster shot.

The CDC recommends getting your second shot even if you have side effects after the first, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.

When you book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine it is critical that you show up or give ample notice of cancellation.

When you do not cancel for a vaccine, you could be taking a vaccine from as many as nine other people.

Photos courtesy of Town of Smithtown