The Westchester County Center distributed its 100,000th dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, a milestone reached in just under two months since the site opened.
County Executive George Latimer said during his Thursday afternoon briefing that when the White Plains facility opened for vaccinations on Jan. 13, it was initially equipped to handle about 1,100 does a day. As supply has increased, more than 2,500 doses a day are now being administered. Latimer expects that number to reach 3,000 a day in the near future.
With the County Center’s capacity, more than 20,000 doses already given at Westchester Community College and the county’s Health Department clinic in White Plains, about 8,000 more at the Yonkers armory and one- or two-day pop-up locations that have been scattered around Westchester, 24 percent of county residents have received at least one dose, Latimer said. In all, 13.6 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, meaning they have received both doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, which began to be made available locally this week.
Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said it doesn’t matter which vaccine a person takes, urging all residents to get inoculated when their turn comes up.
“The bottom line is they’re all effective, they’ll all protect you, so whatever vaccine you can lay your hands on is the vaccine you should get as quickly as you are eligible and able to do so,” Amler said.
Westchester is expected to receive a shipment of additional Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Mar. 29, Latimer said. Those are considered best for seniors, including the homebound, because they require just one dose and would prevent the less mobile population from having to venture out for a second shot, he said.
The county is working with Empress Ambulance Service to distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to homebound seniors who are at least 65 years old, said Latimer.
Pop-up sites earlier this week in New Rochelle and Yorktown distributed nearly 1,000 doses, the county executive said.
Also, the state announced Tuesday that it adjusted eligibility for vaccine recipients so that all people at least 60 years old can sign up as of Wednesday. Previously, the threshold had been 65 and up, along with a health care workers, first-responders and other priority occupations.
Starting next Wednesday, municipal workers who deal directly with the public will also be eligible for the vaccine.
On Thursday, active cases fell across Westchester to 5,584 down more than 300 since Monday and from 6,019 last Thursday. On Feb. 11, there were nearly 8,000 active cases. There are currently 264 COVID-19-related hospitalizations, down nearly 50 percent from a month ago.
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Golf Courses to Open This Weekend
Latimer said that four of the county’s six golf courses will open on Saturday, a sure sign spring is around the corner.
Dunwoodie and Sprain Lake golf courses in Yonkers, Maple Moor in White Plains and Saxon Woods in Scarsdale will permit residents to tee off. The two county’s northernmost courses, Mohansic in Yorktown and Hudson Hills in Ossining, still have some snow cover and will see their openings delayed.
Latimer said the county is working on a plan to open Playland by the last week in June. Last summer the amusement park never opened.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/