CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Fifty percent of New Yorkers who are 18 and older have already received their COVID-19 vaccine. It’s a milestone for New York, but local officials say there’s still a number of people who need to roll up their sleeves.
Keith Brown, Interim Public Health Director for Schenectady County says now that vaccine eligibility is widely open, the county is targeting those who are skeptical about getting the shot.
“We have public health staff and public health nurses that when they’re out they’re engaging with the community. It tends to make people feel a lot more comfortable than going to one of the mass vaccination sites where it feels very medical and clinical but we’re in people’s places where they’re familiar with,” says Brown.
Local officials say a lot of work needs to get done before we can vaccinate 100% of the state’s population.
“The work now becomes looking at our data. We know that some of our zip codes are lagging behind what our county average is, and so for us, that’s how we’re targeting our PODs. We have to be in all the different zip codes, all the different neighborhoods where people might have had challenges,” says Brown.
The same tips and tricks are also happening in Albany County.
“We’re going out there and we’re doing everything we can to educate it, to have you understand why it’s important to get vaccinated,” says Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.
On May 18, also known as 518 Day, the United Way of the Greater Capital Region is holding a vaccine clinic at the Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy. Here’s the catch: you get the shot there, and then you can get a drink at a local bar later. People will receive a voucher for a free beverage at one of four participating restaurants.
“If young adults are reluctant to get the vaccine and enticing them with the notion of being able to be back and socializing in a bar or restaurant is a way to push it over the top, then we’re glad to do it,” says Peter Gannon, CEO/President of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region.
Nine Pin Cider Works is one of the participating local businesses on May 18. They’re pouring hard cider to folks who get the shot next Tuesday at Joe Bruno Stadium.
“We want to do our best to encourage people to go out, get healthy, get their shots and just that we can return to pre COVID life…whatever that was…” says Josh Whelan, Director of Marketing & Business Development at Nine Pin Ciderworks, LLC.
The purpose is to vaccinate, enjoy a drink, and to toast to getting back to normalcy.