Second patient dies after being out of COVID vaccines in NYC nursing home

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    Another patient has died in a Queens nursing home after being excluded from COVID-19 vaccination, The Post has learned.

    His family said 92-year-old Carmen Martinez died after being on a hospital ventilator for two weeks.

    Her son, Antonio Collazo, had asked the nursing home to vaccinate Martinez because she was suffering from mild Alzheimer’s. But when the facility opened its first dose on 23 December, she dropped it.

    “It’s a shame,” Collazo said. “These people are tasked with taking care of our elders. Once the vaccine is available, they should call the family to deliver it to patients who cannot ask for it themselves. ”

    After Collazo complained, Martinez was scheduled to receive the vaccine on January 13, but tested positive for COVID the day before, and took a turn for the worse in the hospital.

    According to a state death tally updated last week under a court order, at least 59 dry harbor residents and patients have died of COVIDs in nursing homes or have been sent to the hospital with the virus.

    Martinez was the second to die after COVID after Dry Harbor decided to prioritize permanent residents for the first round of vaccines, and to delay shots for rehab or short-term patients.

    66-year-old Vita Fontaneta, a rehab patient, was admitted to a 360-bed facility on January 11 to recover from foot swelling. Two days later, the nursing home dropped her off the vaccination list.

    Fontanetta tested positive for COVID days and died on 23 January.

    Carmen Martinez had been struggling for life for two weeks on a ventilator, according to her family.
    Carmen Martinez had been struggling for life for two weeks on a ventilator, according to her family.
    Family photo

    Dry Harbor spokesman Juda Engelmeier partially blamed the state’s Department of Health for instructions confusing nursing homes last December.

    The state said that according to the facilities they had to offer the vaccine to all residents, whether permanent or short-term, it also warned that they should not be given the first dose until the patients could be returned for a second shot Is, Engelmayer said.

    “So there was uncertainty. There were unclear policies that needed logistics to clarify and then work. “

    Anglemeyer said Dry Harbor planned to offer ambulates to former patients to return for a second shot and to help with a “safe, clean” visitation room so that they would not have to enter the main facility.

    He said Dry Harbor was not the only nursing home in New York struggling to get it right.

    He said, “Children were calling in the state to complain, ‘My parents are not being vaccinated.”

    “There was a lot of resentment from the public about why some people were not getting it.”

    DOH spokesman Jonah Bruno denied any ambiguity on his part.

    “The department has stated very clearly that nursing homes and their clinical partners should vaccinate all medically qualified and willing residents and prescribe a second dose at the time of the first dose,” he said.

    Even if the resident or patient is discharged, the appointment of a second dose sticks, he said. If a resident is unable to return medically, the facility should arrange for a second shot to be given.

    Dry Harbor spokesperson Juda Engelmeyer says the state's health department gave complex instructions regarding obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine.
    Dry Harbor spokesperson Juda Engelmeyer says the state’s health department gave complex instructions regarding obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine.
    Jessie Rice

    Queens City Councilman Robert Holden brought the problem to light after his 96-year-old mother Anne Holden, a rehab patient in Dry Harbor, Ana was excluded from the first round on 23 December.

    Anne received the first dose on 13 January, but came on 20 January with COVID and was hospitalized. She She has since been discharged, but Holden places her in a separate nursing home.


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