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Onondaga County Encouraging Pre-Registration Over Walk-Ups At Its Vaccine Clinics

Katie Zilcosky

New York State’s mass vaccination sites may have opened for walk up appointments Thursday, but Onondaga County still wants those coming to their clincs to pre-register. County Executive Ryan McMahon said unlike the state, the county doesn’t have its vaccine supply just at one site.

“You don’t want to utilize vaccine and put yourself in a situation where you might have to waste a shot. So that’s kind of part of a challenge of the walk-up clinic," said McMahon. "It’s easier for the state sites to do it because they store everything right there.”

While the county is hoping most people will pre-register online, they will not turn eligible people away from clinics. Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said if you do choose to come to a county vaccination clinic without an appointment, it’s going to take a little longer because all the paperwork will have to be done on site.

“First dose is easy for us to give it as long as people have patience to work with us and wait little bit and say okay ‘I’m just a walk in. I may not be able to get out of there within 20-30 minutes,’" said Gupta. "It may take maybe an hour or more because there were other people who were in the line before.”

Gupta said while they will try to accommodate first dose walk ups, they won’t be doing any second dose walk ups. The county will hold two clinics on Friday: A Pfizer clinic at the OnCenter and a Johnson & Johnson clinic at Fabius Community Center. You can reserve an appointment for either on the coutny website.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.