WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In their daily COVID-19 update, Warren County announced another round of coronavirus vaccines was on the way. While previous doses have been distributed at county clinics, some of these will be handled in a new way, one that puts decisions in the hands of individual doctors.
The county is expecting a shipment of 200 coronavirus vaccine doses this week for those outlined in Phase 1B of New York’s vaccination plan. 100 of those are for essential workers, and the rest for people living with health conditions called comorbidities. Those conditions, laid out on the state website, can include cancers, developmental disabilities and diabetes, and a range of other conditions, all of which bring patients into regular contact with physicians.
To that end, Warren County is sending the 100 doses for those patients straight to the private practices and doctors most familiar with them.
“The rationale is that physicians know which of their patients are most in need, as opposed to Public Health staff who would not have that information,” wrote county spokesman Don Lehman in a follow-up email Wednesday.
Warren County made the decision in cooperation with other counties, after looking at other parts of the region where similar practices are working.
The county’s largest medical provider is Hudson Headwaters, which gets vaccine doses directly from the federal government. Warren County already works with employers to get essential workers their vaccines, which is what they’ll be doing with the other half of this week’s doses.
“It was decided that Warren County will fill in the gaps with the other medical practices in the region that are not getting it directly from the federal government so their patients will have access,” Lehman said.
The full list of comorbidities is as follows, as dictated by the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
- Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases
- Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes
- Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2), Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
- Sickle cell disease or Thalassemia
- Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia
- Liver disease
Any resident with a condition on that list can contact their doctor for more information.
“We are working with medical providers to get to their most at-risk patients vaccinated at this time due to limited supplies,” said Ginelle Jones, Warren County Health Services Director.
Meanwhile, pharmacies in the county continue to bear the responsibility of vaccinating residents 65 and older, as part of Phase 1B. Warren County sent out a current list of county pharmacies working to give out doses. The county encourages residents to contact locations directly for supply info.
That list includes:
- CVS locations around the region
- Kinney Drugs in Queensbury
- Stone’s Pharmacy in Lake Luzerne
- Rite Aid in Glens Falls
- Walgreens stores around the region
- Hannaford stores in the region
- Market 32 stores in Wilton and Clifton Park
The state-run coronavirus clinic in Potsdam also listed open vaccination appointments on Wednesday. Those interested can apply online.