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Anderson Center students, staff receive vaccinations

Date January 14, 2021

While the expanded rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine this week has had its hurdles, at least one group of at-risk students and instructors are on the path to being vaccinated against the virus.

Students, residents and staff at the Anderson Center for Autism in Staatsburg who opted to receive it have been given their first doses of the inoculation, according to organization representatives.

The nonprofit center serves people on the Autism spectrum through educational, vocational and residential services. In all, the center serves 150 children and 117 adults.

Trey T. gives thumbs-up after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.  Natalie Haradya of the Anderson Center for Autism staff is on the left and Northern Dutchess Hospital's Christina Watson is on the right.

Northern Dutchess Hospital administered the inoculations to 126 residents and students, and 80 staff members. There were 201 residents and staff aged 18-and-over who were eligible, the organization said.

Hospital staff visited the Staatsburg campus to provide the vaccines.

Anderson Center Director of Health and Related Services Gina Williamson praised the nurses’ patience and demeanor working with the students and residents.

“In my opinion, this is a prime example of a community coming together in a time of great distress and illness to ensure Anderson’s mission of ‘optimizing quality of life’ is met for our individuals here at Anderson Center for Autism,” Williamson said in a statement from the center.

Hospital staff, first responders and group care facilities, such as nursing homes, were among the first New York residents who could receive the first doses of the vaccine last month. The state expanded to include a large swath of other groups this week, including anyone ages 65-and-over, those who are immunocompromised, teachers, public safety employees, public transit workers, grocery store employees and several other professions that interact with the public.

The Anderson Center vaccines were administered on Jan 8 and 11. Follow up clinics will be scheduled for the second dose.

Anderson Center CEO and Executive Director Patrick Paul said the Nuvance Health hospital’s efforts “demonstrates their tremendous commitment to helping us carry out our mission.”