Vaccinations ramping up in New York, North Country

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 5:03 PM EST
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - New York state reports COVID cases are declining as the number of vaccine doses rises. Our Kelly O’Brien takes a look as a new vaccine clinic opens in Clinton County.

Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said hospitalizations are down across the state and nearly 5 million doses had been given to eligible New Yorkers.

“Really good news,” said Cuomo, D-New York.

Cuomo said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has officially arrived in New York. The vaccine, different than its counterparts, requires only one shot and no ultra-cold storage.

“We are expecting an extra tranche of 164,000 doses,” Cuomo said.

The governor says he will use the first round of Johnson & Johnson doses in new, 24/7-style vaccination sites downstate and in Syracuse, hoping to offer more vaccinations to those who are able to get one.

“I think people will come in the middle of the night to get the vaccine,” Cuomo said.

Currently, state health officials, pharmacies, hospitals and health departments can vaccinate.

Thursday, the Clinton County Health Department opened a site at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh Town.

“We have 500 doses today,” said Molly Flynn of the Clinton County Health Department.

Of those, 200 are earmarked for those 65 and up. The rest are for anyone who qualifies.

Giving out shots-- the health department, retired medical professionals and nursing students from SUNY Plattsburgh.

“Right now, 24% of our eligible population has received the first dose and 12% of the population has received both doses,” Flynn said.

The governor says 16% of all New Yorkers have had at least has dose one.

“The Biden administration has increased the percentage of vaccine by 70%,” Cuomo said.

With more shots available, and more places to get them, the governor and health department hope to meet the president’s goal of vaccinating adults by the end of May.

“We often joke it doesn’t matter who is giving you your vaccine as long as you are getting your vaccine,” Flynn said.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Clinton County Health Department still had appointments open Friday for those 65+. Click here to register or call 518-565-4848.

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