With more New Yorkers becoming eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Putnam County has opened a second vaccination site to accommodate those looking to receive their first dose.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced that a second COVID-19 vaccination site was being opened at the Philipstown Recreation Center, following the opening of a site at the Carmel Friendship Center, which vaccinated more than 600 people over two days last week.
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“We want to ensure that everyone in our county has good access to a (point-of-dispensing),” Odell said. “The supply of vaccine is limited now, but as our allocation from the state increases, we will quickly ramp up and serve many more people on both sides of the county.”
As of this week, New Yorkers over the age of 65, those who are immunocompromised, first responders, corrections officers, teachers, transit workers, who joined healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and employees in becoming eligible this week.
Odell made note that Putnam has received a limited allocation of vaccine doses, which has led to the slower-than-hoped rollout since it became available to the public.
“If the state put the county government in charge of the local vaccine distribution, we could meet the needs of all our residents with far less confusion,” she said. “We are the level of government that is closest to our population. We know our residents.”
She noted: “our Office for Senior Resources knows who the homebound seniors are, our health department knows how to run a vaccine clinic for our residents because they routinely do so for the flu vaccine.
“We have the staff and the volunteers necessary to run big PODs,” Odell continued. “It just makes so much sense, and we are eager to make this COVID-19 vaccination experience less stressful for our residents.”
Officials said that this week, the Putnam County Department of Health received 100 vaccines for the state that are designated for seniors over the age of 75 and 200 vaccines earmarked for essential workers, which were divided among police, firefighters, and schools.
“This has been a nerve-wracking year and we are all eager to get vaccinated, or to make appointments for our elderly loved ones,” Legislator Amy Sayegh said in a statement. “We just have to be patient a little longer. We are lucky the vaccination program has started and are confident the volume will increase soon. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.”
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