Montgomery County reacts to late vaccine doses on first day of Phase 1B

Montgomery County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday additional New Yorkers, individuals 75 and older can begin scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

The supply of the vaccine continues to be a serious issue. Local counties say they just don’t have enough to meet the demand and others say they don’t have any at all.

The initial groups of Phase 1B now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine include, first responders, correction officers, teachers and other school staff; in-person college instructors, childcare workers, grocery store workers, transit workers, and individuals living and working in homeless shelters.

The state says due to limited federal distribution of the vaccine supply, all New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patients when scheduling appointments. The federal government is only releasing 300,000 vaccines per week to New York. As such, eligible New Yorkers should be prepared to receive an appointment date as far as 14 weeks in the future.

You can click Here to determine eligibility and schedule appointments across the state.

For smaller counties like Montgomery County, they say they feel left in the dark.

“We have created a massive demand without really any supply. We have zero supply in Montgomery County. The county and the hospital have exhausted every effort to get a response from the state,” said Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort.  

Montgomery County Executive Ossenfort says they can’t begin to prepare and register people without the confirmation of vaccine deliveries.

“We have done some outreach and received 1,100 responses to our survey of people that want the vaccine. We have received numerous requests from local businesses, teachers, firefighters, and first responders. However we can not fulfill those requests because of lack of supply,” said he.

To make matter worse, Montgomery County says they still haven’t vaccinated all of the people in Phase 1A yet.

“So far Montgomery county has had total of 100 vaccines given to us. For a small county like this once we get them, I suspect they will be in the arms of Montgomery County residents within a week,”said he.

Residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will continue to be vaccinated through a federal program, which the state is providing resources to accelerate.

· Health care workers who are part of Phase 1a will continue to be vaccinated at hospitals and other clinical settings.

· People age 75 and over will primarily be vaccinated at pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network.”

·Public employees (for example, police departments, public school teachers and MTA employees)will primarily be vaccinated through their groups’ relevant health programs or as organized by their unions.

Beginning at 4:00pm on Monday, January 11, the COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline will open for scheduling vaccination appointments for eligible New Yorkers: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

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