Counties seek mass vaccination site

Mark Gutman/Daily News People enter the vaccination clinic at GCC on Wednesday February 17, 2021.

UPDATE: the New York State-run temporary mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic was opened for appointments this morning at 7:59 a.m.

By 9:20 there were no appointments available, however that has been fluctuating, officials at the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments said.

“We encourage those who are seeking vaccination to periodically check the site as some may cancel their appointments or the system catches up,” they said.

“We realize this may be disappointing and frustrating for our local county residents as it is to us. We will continue to advocate for increased vaccine allocations moving forward,” stated Paul Pettit, Director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “Every dose of vaccine that comes to our counties are administered within the week of receipt. We will continue to call on the state to increase allocations to rural counties as our vaccination rates continue to lag in comparison to surrounding counties.”

As a reminder, these clinics are for those in priority groups 1A and 1B, and those 65 and older or under 65 but at least 18 with co-morbidities.

You can check for appointment availability at https://am-i- eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or call 1-833-697-4829.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: BATAVIA — A temporary regional mass vaccination clinic has been announced starting Friday at Genesee Community College.

This state-run clinic, expecting to vaccinate 3,500, is targeted to Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County residents who are in the state eligible groupings.

The state has confirmed, as of this past Tuesday, the vaccine will be the Johnson & Johnson one dose vaccine. The clinic is located at the GCC Athletic Center at 1 College Rd. where signs will guide those with appointments to the entrance.

The clinic will be held starting:

n Friday — noon to 4 p.m.

n Saturday and Sunday — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

n Monday and Tuesday — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Appointments must be made via the New York State ‘Am-I-Eligible’ webpage at https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or by calling the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1 (833) 697-4829 only.

The announcement comes after the legislative leaders and public health directors of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties sent a letter last week to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo urgently requesting the designation of such a clinic to serve rural populations in the region.

Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health agreed to the clinic, area officials said in a news release.

Area officials offered remarks including

n “We are pleased to be a part of this mass vaccination clinic,” said Rebecca Ryan, Chairwoman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors. “This will help put a dent in our priority groups.”

n “To say this COVID vaccination site is necessary is an understatement, as I speak with constituents daily who are told they have to travel hours in some cases just to get their vaccine,” said New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia. “I am hopeful we will see progress made toward opening this site for the convenience of all who wish to receive the vaccination in the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County communities. We need to do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout New York State.”

n “I am very happy that GCC will be serving as a vaccination site for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. In the joint legislative health hearing this past Thursday, I specifically requested Commissioner Zucker establish a vaccination site at GCC,” said New York State Senator Edward Rath, R-Amherst. “I am pleased that this all is happening very quickly, and we can work to get residents in our rural counties vaccinated. Thank you to our local leaders for their leadership on the issue.”

n “We hope this is just the beginning of our region getting an equitable share of the vaccine,” stated Rochelle Stein, Chairperson of the Genesee County Legislature. “In order to continue to provide vaccine to those in rural counties, we encourage the state to continue to provide these limited mass vaccination clinics to assist our counties and get the vaccine in the arms of our residents who choose to get it.”

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