HealthThe Putnam Examiner

Putnam County to Begin Dispensing Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

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Putnam County
Putnam County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Nesheiwat talks to Carmel School District employee Lisa Ferraro, who received the COVID-19 vaccine, and Felicia Saunders, RN, who administered the vaccine on Jan. 21. 

The Putnam County Department of Health will begin administering second doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. 

Only those who were given the first dose of the vaccine by the Putnam County Department of Health are eligible for a second dose, officials said. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses 28 days apart. 

“The supply is still limited, but the good news is that the federal government said it will increase New York State’s vaccine supply by 20 percent for the next three weeks,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “We expect that will soon translate into more vaccine for Putnam County residents.”

After months of grappling with a limited supply of vaccines from the federal government, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that the state’s supply will increase to 20 percent for the next three weeks, a rise from the initial 16 percent bump.

With the increased supply, Cuomo said private pharmacies in the state charged with prioritizing the 65-plus population will now receive an additional 10 percent, or about 30,000 doses, directly from the federal government to supplement the doses allocated to them by the state.  

There are approximately 7.1 million New Yorkers currently eligible to receive the vaccine.

Odell said the Health Department received a shipment of 900 doses for second-dose use, with health officials running a vaccine clinic on Thursday at the Carmel Friendship Center. Another clinic will be planned at the Philipstown Recreation Center on Feb. 11. 

More clinics to administer the first and second doses will also be scheduled. 

The state has very strict requirements on the distribution of the second doses, Odell said, with the Health Department not allowed to use any of the second-dose shipment for first dose distribution. 

“Individuals who received first doses at a health department run POD must return for their second dose appointments as scheduled,” said Kathy Percacciolo, the supervising public health nurse. “Appointments may not be transferred to friends or family members. We must follow the state guidance or risk receiving future vaccine shipments.”

The state has assigned different providers specific groups to vaccinate out of those eligible under Phase 1A and 1B. That group currently consists of health care workers, police, firefighters, public safety workers, educators, transit personnel and people 65 and up.

Pharmacies have been assigned the task of vaccinating senior citizens. The Putnam County Department of Health, like local health departments statewide, is required by the state to vaccinate only essential workers.

Click HERE to see if you’re eligible to make an appointment. 

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