ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, local counties have been working together and sharing resources such as personal protective equipment and test kits. Now, it’s vaccines. On Wednesday, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced a partnership with Rensselaer and Schenectady Counties.
McCoy said he recently reached a deal with New York State to receive more vaccines and promised that each and every dose would be administered. In order to hold up his end of the deal, he decided to partner with Rensselaer and Schenectady Counties.
To start, they will each get 1,000 Pfizer doses, while Albany County will keep 2,200. These vaccines will go to residents who are at least 65 years old. McCoy said there would be more to come.
Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin said the partnership makes perfect sense because the three counties are intertwined on a daily basis as residents often live and work in different areas. He said the allocation will also allow them to expand their reach.
“It’s been a pretty scarce resource, which is why we were sort of stuck doing just the one POD. As it becomes more available, we’re all able to spread out into the far reaches of our counties,” said McLaughlin.
Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman said his staff is standing at the ready to assist with distribution.
“We have nurses, we have data entry people, we have police officers, we have standing sites ready to do 1,000 shots a day. The share from Albany County is tremendous,” said Fluman.
When asked whether the controversies surrounding Governor Andrew Cuomo could potentially impact county operations or vaccination rollout efforts, McCoy said he and his partners leave politics at the door and focus on what needs to get done.
“I’m in a health crisis and economy crisis right now. I’m worried about getting shots in arms and keeping my workforce open and getting businesses open and continuing to open up businesses. This is just another distraction I don’t need, so I’m just focusing on what I can control right now,” said McCoy.
Albany County will hold another clinic on Saturday at the Times Union Center. They will also provide 1,600 first doses and more than 900 second doses at the vaccine POD Thursday night for those who are eligible, including those with co-morbidities. He said he’s hoping the state will expand vaccine eligibility to members of his county workforce who have been on the frontlines since Day 1 of the pandemic.
McCoy said more than 29,000 people have pre-registered for a vaccine appointment on the county website.