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WNY COVID Working Group: Notes on the Vaccines

Updated: 3/15/2021

The WNY COVID Working Group - a group of more than 20 healthcare and health-related organizations - released information today about the COVID-19 vaccines.


  • The COVID-19 vaccines are our path out of the pandemic.
  • The vaccines are safe and effecti􀀝ve. A COVID-19 vaccine can keep you out of the hospital. It can prevent you from dying of COVID-19.
  • Science tells us it is impossible for the vaccines to cause COVID-19 disease. The vaccines cannot affect your genes.
  • The elderly and disabled may need help with scheduling. Please help them.

Other Points

How was the vaccine created so quickly?
Usually, vaccines are developed in phases that occur one a􀀓fter another. The COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly by doing those phases simultaneously. Researchers from around the world cooperated and shared data to meet the FDA’s rigorous safety and efficacy requirements. Scien􀀫tists were able to manufacture vaccine doses at the same 􀀫me as the vaccine research trials were conducted. This way, there was no lag 􀀫me between FDA authorizati􀀫on and vaccine delivery. No short cuts were taken in making this safe and effec􀀫tive vaccine.

Please conti􀀝nue to protect yourself and others even a􀀴fter getti􀀵ng fully vaccinated. Maintain a 6-feet distance away from others. Wear a mask over your mouth and nose when near others outside your home. Stay home when you are sick. Avoid crowded places. Wash your hands oft􀀓en.

There is currently no informati􀀝on on how long vaccine-induced immunity lasts.

Get both vaccine doses if two are required by the manufacturer. These vaccines will be less effecti􀀫ve and may not last as long with only one dose.

Individuals who had COVID-19 more than 3 months ago s􀀝till need the vaccine.


Gale Burstein, MD, MPH, Erie County Department of Health
Richard A. Carlson, Jr., MD, Primary Care IPA
Richard Charles, MD, General Physician, PC
Joe Chow, MD, Immediate Care
Tyler Connine, MD, UB Emergency Medicine Residency
John Craik, JD, Popula􀀫tion Health Collaborati􀀫ve
Tanvir Dara, MD, WellNow Urgent Care
Kathleen Dyson, MD, Community Pediatric Associates of WNY
Aimana ElBah􀀫tity, Esq., Medical Society of Erie County
John Fudyma, MD, MPH, Latus Medical Care
Ken Garbarino, MD, Family Choice of New York
Kevin Gibbons, MD, UBMD
Kathleen Grisanti􀀫, MD, Pediatric and Adolescent Urgent Care of WNY
Ed Heidelberger, MD, PhD, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital
Allana Krolikowski, MD, Jericho Road
Jeffrey Lackner, PsyD, UB Division of Behavioral Medicine
Charlene Ludlow, RN, MHA, Erie County Medical Center
James C. Ma􀀼eliano, DDS, Eighth District Dental Society
Jason Matuszak, MD, Excelsior Orthopaedics
Mike Merrill, MD, MS, MBA, Independent Health
Katherine Mullin, MD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Jamie Nadler, MD, Kaleida Health
Margaret Paroski, MD, MMM, Catholic Medical Partners
Sucharita Paul, MD, MPH, UBMD Emergency Medicine
Mark F. Perry, MD, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
John Sellick, DO, MS, VA Western New York Healthcare System
Samuel Shatkin, MD, Aesthe􀀫tic Associates Center
Kevin Shiley, MD, Catholic Health
Stephen Turkovich, MD, Oishei Children’s Hospital
Willie Underwood, MD, MSc, MPH, Buffalo Center For Health Equity
Rick Vienne, DO, Univera Healthcare
Raul Vazquez, MD, Urban Family Practi􀀫ce
Joyce Zmuda, MD, Op􀀫timum Physician Alliance


The ILI/COVID Working Group of Western New York was formed in response to local varia􀀄tion in approach to the diagnosis and treatment of Influenza-Like-Illness and COVID-19 in the region. It is a collaborati􀀄ve effort of hospital systems, academic departments, independent practi􀀄ce associa􀀄tions, and insurers. The logos and signatures on this document represent the organizati􀀄ons’ support of this statement.

For previous statements and information from the WNY COVID-19 Work Group, visit