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Health & Medicine

Just One Vaccination Clinic From Onondaga County This Week Due To State Supply Cut


Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is frustrated by the cut to the county’s COVID-19 vaccine allotment this week. New York State received fewer doses from the federal government, so Onondaga County got just 900 doses. This is enough supply for one day at the county’s clinic.

McMahon said it’s because the fairgrounds vaccine site and pharmacies booked appointments weeks in advance.

“If you’re going to schedule appointments out two months in advance, and then you get less vaccine, the easy answer for you instead of cancelling appointments is giving less vaccine to the person who hasn’t scheduled them to begin with,” said McMahon.

Onondaga County has been scheduling appointments week to week, after confirmation of the number of doses they are getting. McMahon is hoping for more vaccine next week. He said the county’s vaccination infrastructure could distribute about 18,000 doses per week if they had the supply, and argues the county operation is the most efficient way to vaccinate people quickly.

“We do it quicker than pharmacies. We do 1,400 a day if we have that here easily, in our sleep," said McMahon. "A pharmacy can’t do that. A doctor’s office can’t do that. We need to be the ones getting us through this log jam of people who are all eligible.”

After the large distribution points are fully utilized, then McMahon says, it is time to micro-target clinic locations to communities with low vaccination rates. Appointments for Thursday’s clinic will open to the public Wednesday on the county's website. Seniors can call 211 to book an appointment.  McMahon said if the county gets more vaccine redirected later in the week, they will reopen registration.