Fitterman: Doctors Won’t Be Pressured on Covid-19 Vaccine

As pharmaceutical companies race to produce a Covid-19 vaccine, Huntington Hospital president Dr. Nick Fitterman stressed that Northwell Health physicians will vaccinate patients only after it has proven to be safe through extensive testing.
“We will not promote or distribute any vaccinations that have not withstood proper screening.

We will not succumb to any pressures that government or others may apply for premature use,” Fitterman said.

Fitterman said that there are more than 200 experimental vaccines undergoing trials, in one of three stages: Phase 1, a small study of a handful of volunteers, Phase 2 with hundreds of patients, and phase 3, tens of thousands of volunteers, with scrutiny of both safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

And, he said, local doctors won’t be using vaccines being used in Russia and China; Russia has skipped Phase 3 testing, which has alarmed experts around the globe.

With reports of some reinfection, Fitterman said that one of the cases involved re-infection with a different strain of the corona virus but the individual didn’t get sick. “Reinfection is a reality. Covid is here to stay,” he said. “If you’re re-infected you could be spreading the virus. We cannot let down our guard and must adhere to basic public measures.”

As of Thursday, Huntington Hospital had just two Covid-19 patients, he said. In addition, the hospital has refreshed its surge plans to handle 10 percent more cases than it handled at the epidemic’s peak in April, and added thermal scanning at building entrances. Northwell has given the hospital $4 million for dialysis, negative-pressure rooms–designed to prevent cross-contamination from room to room, ventilators and other equipment.

He said that following four basic rules will keep people safer:

1. Doctors avoid using Covid-19 vaccines that don’t pass scrutiny
2. risk of re-infection with implications for ma
3. adherence to public health measures
4. getting a flu vaccine


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