The Putnam County Department of Health in the span of two weeks has effectively inoculated over 900 people with the COVID-19 vaccine, but officials are uncertain when the next batch of doses will arrive from the state.
Three events have been held at Putnam County’s two distribution sites where eligible individuals in phases 1A and 1B received the vaccine. Health officials administered 307 injections at the Philipstown Recreation Center on Thursday, with 611 shots given last week at the Carmel Friendship Center.
“Thursday’s venue was ideal, it means the health department now has a location in Philipstown and another in Carmel to administer the vaccine,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “I even heard seniors remark how nice it was to see friends who they hadn’t seen since the Office of Senior Resources programs were paused early last year.”
Despite the achievement, the county no longer has availability to vaccines. Odell is requesting the public’s patience as the area awaits more.
However, this problem is not limited to Putnam County. Across the state, facilities have been set up to distribute the vaccine but demand still far outstrips supply. Currently, more than 7 million New Yorkers are eligible to receive the vaccine, but the state only receives 300,000 doses a week from the federal government.
Through a statewide effort, hospitals have been designated with vaccinating doctors, nurses, and medical workers, with local health departments charged with inoculating essential workers identified as part of 1B. Local pharmacies will be immunizing those aged 65 plus, but Putnam County experienced some issues, Odell noted, and the state requested the health department to vaccinate the senior population.
As of Friday, county health officials had no indication of when a new shipment of vaccines will arrive from the state.
“We need to ask for your continued patience,” Odell said. “This is hard on everyone, but I know it is especially hard on our seniors, who are the most vulnerable to the virus and, often, the most isolated. We are working as best we can to get you vaccinated, and as soon as we get more supply, we will. The best we can do now, is keep you informed.”
To check your eligibility, visit: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine.