Putnam Opens COVID-19 Vaccination Site in Philipstown

Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Putnam County Commissioner of Health administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination to Kathy Percacciolo, PCDOH Supervising Public Health Nurse at the Carmel Friendship Center on Thursday Jan. 7. Photo Courtesy of Putnam County.

The Putnam County Department of Health will open a second COVID-19 vaccination site on Thursday in Philipstown.

The site, at the Philipstown Recreation Center, will enable the county to vaccinate as many eligible people as supplies allow. The county’s first point of dispensing, or POD, opened last week at the Carmel Friendship Center and vaccinated 611 people over two days.

 “We want to ensure that everyone in our county has good access to a POD,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “The supply of vaccine is limited now, but as our allocation from the state increases, we will quickly ramp up and serve many more people on both sides of the county.”

Only those who already have appointments Thursday will be vaccinated. Those without appointments will be turned away.

The county health department is just one of the agencies in Putnam getting vaccine shipments from the state. Pharmacies, urgent cares, health centers and hospitals will also administer vaccines, but Odell has asked the state to put the county government in charge of the distribution in Putnam.

“If the state put the county government in charge of the local vaccine distribution, we could meet the needs of all our residents with far less confusion,” she said. “We are the level of government that is closest to our population. We know our residents. Our Office for Senior Resources knows who the homebound seniors are, our health department knows how to run a vaccine clinic for our residents because they routinely do so for the Flu vaccine. We have the staff and the volunteers necessary to run big PODs. It just makes so much sense, and we are eager to make this COVID-19 vaccination experience less stressful for our residents.” 

Because there is a limited supply of vaccine, the state has set rigid guidelines as to who is eligible.

For Thursday’s health department POD, the department received 100 vaccines that the state designated for seniors aged 75 or older. It also received 200 vaccines designated for essential workers and divided those appointments among the police, fire companies and school districts.

“This has been a nerve-wracking year and we are all eager to get vaccinated, or to make appointments for our elderly loved ones,” said Legislator Amy Sayegh. “We just have to be patient a little longer. We are lucky the vaccination program has started and are confident the volume will increase soon. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.”

Healthcare workers, first responders, educators, transit workers and other essential workers are now eligible for vaccination. On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo followed Centers for Disease Control guidance and extended the pool of eligible New Yorkers to those aged 65 and older as well as immunocompromised adults. Millions of New Yorkers are now eligible for vaccination, but the state only gets 300,000 vaccines a week from the federal government.

To sign up, residents should fill out this form: 

https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

Those eligible can also call the State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline for an appointment: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). For more information about eligibility, phased distribution and more, visit https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/what-you-need-know.

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