GCC slated as vaccination site

Mark Gutman/Daily NewsGenesee Community College has been tapped to serve as a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Genesee Community College’s Batavia campus may become a vaccination site next week, although a specific starting date had not been set, a Genesee County and Orleans County health official said Wednesday.

Paul Pettit, public health director in Genesee and Orleans counties, noted during a Zoom call that the State University of New York (SUNY) made a statement about GCC’s use earlier this week.

“We have been working very closely with them (SUNY). We are in the process of standing our county-sponsored pod, very similar to what’s been talked about in Monroe County, over at GCC. The plan is to stand that up, potentially next week,” Pettit said as with other situations, this will depend on the supply of vaccine.

“We will be vaccinating Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays (in Genesee County) and we’ll be in Orleans County, site to be determined, on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he said. “For the folks in Genesee and Orleans, we will be vaccinating five days a week. More information will be coming out when the vaccine becomes available and we will be scheduling more clinics. That information will be shared widely and publicly when the time comes.”

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras made a statement on Tuesday about GCC.

“Genesee Community College was set up to take patients in the early days of COVID last spring when we weren’t sure how the spread would impact our hospitals. Fortunately, the space wasn’t needed then, but the campus helped in other ways by donating personal protective equipment to frontline health care professionals while students from their nursing program volunteered at COVID testing sites,” he said in the state. “Now, as we prepare to vaccinate more people within the first phases of vaccine distribution, I am proud that the team at Genesee Community College is stepping up again in partnership with county and public health officials to serve as a distribution center for the vaccine. We are in this together in this great battle against this pandemic and will serve as we can to protect one another.”

In the meantime, Orleans County health officials said the county has been working diligently to distribute the limited supply of vaccine received in their continued response to the pandemic.

The Orleans Community Health and Oak Orchard Health Center have been administering the vaccine mostly to Priority Group 1A, they said. With the recent addition of Priority Group 1B and the addition of those aged 65 and older, the supply of vaccine is not meeting the demand.

“At this time, Orleans County would like to ensure the public that we are working tirelessly to administer the limited doses we have on hand immediately, and we will continue to get vaccine to the qualifying populations in the most efficient and equitable manner possible,” said Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman in the release.

“As the quantity of available vaccine doses increases and we begin to have some confidence in delivery amounts and timing from the State, the county will communicate with those in the priority groups and the general public to notify them of vaccination opportunities,” she said. “In the meantime we are asking our residents to be patient.”

Orleans County is asking people 65 and older, now part of Priority Group 1B, to use the State Vaccine site for information on clinic information: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/. Pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network” are working to provide vaccine to them.

Orleans County residents are advised to keep checking the site as many of the pharmacies haven’t received vaccine. Those without a computer, may contact the Office for the Aging from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at (585) 589-3191 and they will assist as best as they can.

For additional information on vaccination schedules in Genesee and Orleans counties, click here.

For more information about the vaccine and access for those who are 65 and older who do not have internet access, they may contact their respective office for the aging. For the Genesee County Office for the Aging, call (585) 813-2457 for COVID-19 vaccine assistance between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and leave a message and someone will return the call.

For the Orleans County Office for the Aging, call (585) 589-3191 between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and leave a message if you get voicemail. Someone will return the call.

The Genesee County Health Department may be reached by calling (585) 344-2580 Ext. 5555. The Genesee County Office for the Aging may be reached by calling (585) 343-1611.

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