COVID-19 vaccine distribution update in Schenectady, Rensselaer Counties

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This upcoming week, New York State will only receive 250,000 vaccine doses from the federal government. That is not nearly enough supply for the 7 million New Yorkers who are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Since the state isn’t getting enough supply, local county health departments are also not getting enough supply to vaccinate their residents. “If we had more doses we would be ready to scale up our activity as soon as possible,” says Keith Brown, Interim Public Health Director for Schenectady County. Schenectady County residents who are 75 years and older are able to pre-register on the county’s website.

“We have 400 doses scheduled for next week and those have been booked. It’s very frustrating to tell people that yes, you’re eligible but you may not get a vaccine for a week at minimum,” says Brown.

According to the State Department of Health, vaccine doses are distributed throughout the state based on population. Rensselaer County has only received 200 doses. 100 doses each week for the last two weeks. “Those [200] vaccines are directed towards health department employees, the Medical Reserve Corps MRC, and a small amount of EMS and the reason for that is because we are getting people ready so that when we do pods. We’ll be protected, so they’re getting the vaccine first,” says Rensselaer County Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.

Pod plans are in place at Hudson Valley Community College, Rensselaer County has the staff ready but they need more vaccines. Wachunas says the county is waiting to hear back from state officials to see how many doses they will get for next week.

“Sundays seem to be the day that we get the notification [from the state] of how many vaccines we’ll get for the following week,” says Wachunas.

The state urges county health departments to prioritize vaccinating those still in Phase 1A. New Yorkers whom have already received their first dosage, don’t need to stress about making an appointment for their second shot. “We get a batch for first doses, and then we’ll get a separate batch for second doses. So there’s no worry about priority getting mixed up,” says Brown.

Due to the limited vaccine supply, all New Yorkers are encouraged to be patient while scheduling appointments.

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