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Health & Medicine

Supply Remains Biggest Roadblock To More COVID-19 Vaccination in Onondaga County

U.S. Secretary of Defense
Wikimedia Commons

Teachers, seniors, and childcare providers are some of the groups now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The complete list of people eligible under New York State’s phase 1b was released Monday.

Onondaga County has points of distribution and staffing ready to accommodate all those now eligible, but County Executive Ryan McMahon said supply still lags.

“More people have become eligible. So, is that exciting? Yes. Patience. We all need to be very patient," said McMahon. There is now over 100,000 people in our county that are eligible for a shot, and I will be getting 3,600 doses for next week.”

Other vaccination sites are also opening up. Kinney Drugs will offer the vaccine appointments to anyone over the age of 75, and the State is setting up a distribution center at the fairgrounds for anyone who falls into phase 1a or 1b. McMahon said the county eventually wants to expand into community vaccination sites.

"If you think about our community testing sites, at some point when we have enough supply we’ll have community vaccination sites with probably these similar teams. We don’t even have enough supply yet, so it’s not even worth really getting that far ahead of ourselves,” said McMahon.

McMahon is hoping the federal government will release their vaccine stockpile, which would increase the available supply. President-Elect Joe Biden has proposed doing just that. McMahon said vaccinating everyone in groups 1a and 1b could take weeks, if not months. Vaccine appointments will be added as the county confirms the delivery of more doses.

Open appointments are available on the county website. Seniors needing assistance with online vaccination registration can call 211.


  • Individuals Age 75 and older
  • First Responders and Support Staff for First Responder Agency
    • Fire Service
      • State Fire Service, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
      • Local Fire Services, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
    • Police and Investigators
      • State Police, including Troopers
      • State Park Police, DEC Police, Forest Rangers
      • SUNY Police
      • Sheriffs' Offices
      • County Police Departments and Police Districts
      • City, Town, and Village Police Departments
      • Transit or other Public Authority Police Departments
      • State Field Investigators, including Department of Motor Vehicles, State Commission of Correction, Justice Center, Department of Financial Services, Inspector General, Department of Tax and Finance, Office of Children and Family Services and State Liquor Authority
    • Public Safety Communications
      • Emergency Communication and Public Safety Answering Point Personnel, including dispatchers and technicians
    • Other Sworn and Civilian Personnel
      • Court Officers
      • Other Police or Peace Officers
      • Support of Civilian Staff for Any of the above services, agencies, or facilities
  • Corrections
    • State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Personnel, including correction and parole officers
    • Local Correctional Facilities, including correction officers
    • Local Probation Departments, including probation officers
    • State Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
    • Local Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
  • P-12 Schools
    • P-12 school or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff and support staff including bus drivers)
    • Contractors working in a P-12 school or school district (including contracted bus drivers)
  • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare Providers
    • Employees or Support Staff of Licensed or Registered Childcare Setting
  • Public Transit
    • Airline and airport employees
    • Passenger railroad employees
    • Subway and mass transit employees (i.e., MTA, LIRR, Metro North, NYC Transit, Upstate transit)
    • Ferry employees
    • Port Authority employees
    • Public bus employees
  • Individuals living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of your household
  • Individual working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents
  • Public-facing grocery store workers
  • In-person college instructors