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Providing vaccine safely to adolescents offers challenges

While millions have now been vaccinated against COVID-19, the process started slowly as health officials worked through the logistics. Now, adolescents in New York State, ages 12 and over, are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, says getting young people vaccinated will allow schools to fully reopen, but there will be challenges in the distribution effort.

"Where you can get it right now is the mass vax sites at UB and in Niagara Falls and the county health departments. This week, Wahlgreens at multiple locations has Pfizer,"said Nielsen, acknowledging the need to get the vaccine to make the vaccine more accessible.  She pointed out some of the obstacles.

"Remember that Pfizer is the one that requires the ultra-cold storage so the usual doctors' offices are not going to have it at this point," Nielsen explained.

"At least in Erie County, (Health Commissioner) Dr. Burstein has said that she will store the vaccine for the pediatricians and they can come get it as they need it."

"The reason for that is Pfizer comes in packets of 1170 doses. There's no pediatrician that can use that up within two weeks (its expiration time). So, she has offered to be the storage place and that's a tremendous help in our area."

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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.