For many, local pharmacies the best bet to get COVID-19 vaccine

Columbia County

HUDSON, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Florence Mercer and her sister, Helen Hempstead, have tried for weeks to get their 85-year-old mother a COVID-19 vaccination. Their mom, Mary Ellen Mercer, who lives at home with her husband Jack, survived cancer, has diabetes and has to use a walker. Since the pandemic started, they have stayed home and depended on family and friends for food.

Jack Mercer is a Korean War veteran and uses the V.A. regularly, so when they contacted him about his vaccinations, the family was surprised.  They expected to have to call the V.A. to make an appointment.

In January, Susan Hempstead called the Columbia County hotline and was told her mom was put on the homebound list.

Since then, the family has tried calling and going online, all with no success finding a vaccine for mom.

It seems few counties in the Capital Region have enough vaccines, according to Jack Mabb, Director of the Columbia County Health Department. Mabb’s county only gets small amounts of the vaccine each week. The large number of doses Columbia County got for this week are for three PODs for people getting their second dose.

Seven pharmacies in the county have signed up to give the vaccine: Walmart and ShopRite in Hudson, Price Chopper in Chatham, Walgreens in Chatham and Hudson, and Hannaford in Valatie and Hudson. Mabb said the Federal Government will be shipping out over a million doses that are going straight to pharmacies.

The director believes the best chance for those seeking vaccines is to stay with their pharmacy and to keep checking every day for appointments.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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