GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As many Central New Yorkers struggle to find available vaccine appointments, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul ceremoniously opened the mass coronavirus vaccine clinic at the New York State Fairgrounds.
Hochul made it clear that eligibility does not equal availability, as New York’s supply of the vaccine is dictated by the federal government. More people are allowed to get the shot than there is a shot to give. New York gets about 300,000 per week for the nearly 7,000,000 people now eligible.
Earlier this week, New York State opened vaccine eligibility to what it calls group “1B,” which includes essential workers like teachers and grocery store clerks. At first, people over the age of 75 were eligible, before the state took the CDC’s guidance to lower the age to 65 and older.
The fairgrounds, which offers vaccines to those eligible by appointment only, join other state-operated vaccine clinics to open around New York.
The Expo Center, which has housed an ice rink and soccer field during previous State Fairs, has been set up with a line-up and registration area, 20 vaccination tables, and socially-distanced chairs to form a waiting room with a doctor on standby for people to be monitored for symptoms after they get their shots.
New York State didn’t say how many people will be vaccinated each day at the state fairgrounds, but the appointment website doesn’t have openings left in January or early February but indicates as many as 375 openings per day in March and April.
The State Fairgrounds is the second mass vaccination clinic in Onondaga County, the second at the War Memorial operated by the county’s health department.