SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to Dr. Amy Gildemeister, Director of Public Health for Schoharie County, the county has only received 1,100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in total as of January 22. Dr. Gildermeister’s heath department takes care of over 32,000 county residents.
“We are doing rather well,” said Dr. Gildemeister. “We are in the middle of our second open pod. [Thursday’s] pod was a hundred people, and [Friday’s] is 200. We would do more, but it is driven by the amount of vaccine we are allocated. Since we are a small county, we don’t get a large allocation.”
Last week, according to the director, her county received no vaccines. This week, they received their allocation of 100 doses, plus an extra 200 doses. That’s because the county doesn’t have any pharmacies on board for vaccinating residents older than 65.
The Mohawk Valley Regional Vaccination Network (VxN or Hub) covers six counties (Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, Montgomery, Fulton, and Schoharie) along with ten hospitals: St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth hospitals in Utica (MVHS), Rome Memorial Hospital, Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, Little Falls Hospital, A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta, Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, Cobleskill Regional Hospital in Schoharie County, and St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam.
“I have a good relationship with our Hub when I needed more vaccine,” said Dr. Gilemeister. “They got on it immediately. They initially offered me the Pfizer vaccine that had to be used within a day and a half, and when I couldn’t use it, they got back on the phones and found me Moderna.”
Director Gildemeister wants the residents in her county to know that her department continually advocates for Schoharie County to get more vaccines out to residents.
Over the last month, the Director has seen an increase in cases in the county and believes it is related to family gatherings over the Holidays. Gildemeister said they are seeing 16 to 20 new cases each day, and it is starting to add up for a small county.
“It is absolutely people getting together with friends and family and people think that they are being careful,” said Dr. Gildemeiseter. “Because we discount the risk. So people are very willing to get together with their adult children and grandchildren, and they discount that risk.”