Onondaga County Exec. explains vaccination plans, where you can get a COVID-19 shot


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Taking to social media, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon gave residents an update on the COVID-19 vaccine and its cases on Tuesday.

“There are more people eligible than we have supply,” said the County Exec. “We won’t let vaccines sit. We will get it to everyone that wants it.” He’s asking for everyone’s patience in this process as the federal government and New York State release vaccine doses to the county.

A vaccination week for the county is Wednesday to Wednesday. Onondaga County is notified anytime from Sunday through Tuesday of the amount of vaccine they’ll receive for the week. McMahon said once it is known how much vaccine is being delivered, the county opens up appointments. Onondaga County will not schedule more appointments than vaccine doses so there won’t be cancellations. “When you have an appointment for us, you have a vaccine for you.”

McMahon said for those who have received the first dose of the vaccine and are waiting for the second dose, Onondaga County will reach out with information when the timing is right. There is no need to schedule an appointment for the second shot.

So where can you go to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you are 65 years or older, local pharmacies have begun to book appointments for the vaccine. If you run into issues scheduling an appointment, it is very likely appointments are all booked. Pharmacies receive vaccine allotments similar to Onondaga County. More appointments should become available when more shots become available.

The New York State Fairgrounds is a vaccination site that the state is running and Onondaga County is staffing. To make an appointment, click here. You can also call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829. Once New York’s “Am I Eligible” app determines you are eligible for the vaccine, it will help you find a nearby vaccination site and schedule an appointment. This site administers vaccines for the Central New York region. McMahon said because it is state-run, participants may be able to schedule appointments further out than just a week in advance.

Onondaga County’s point of distribution (POD) is currently at the War Memorial. Onondaga County received 3,600 doses of the vaccine this week. Appointments for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday have been booked. McMahon said if there are no-shows for the vaccine and extra doses become available, the county does have a reserve list of people from the 1A and 1B groups. McMahon says if there are additional doses, appointments for Monday and Tuesday may open up. Appointments can be made by clicking here. As of Tuesday at 3 p.m., there are no appointments available this week.

Seniors who are not tech-savvy can call 211 to make an appointment. McMahon said the county will reserve appointments for those who call 211 so they won’t be “beaten to the punch” by online appointments. He also said people can call on behalf of a loved one if they need help making an appointment.

The county’s COVID-19 data continues to improve but the deadliness of the virus is still prevalent.

Onondaga County lost 5 neighbors to the coronavirus on Tuesday. Four were hospitalized and one death was from a nursing home.

There were 289 new cases of COVID-19 in the county. This is the second day in a row Onondaga County has reported cases in the 200s. The 7-day positivity rate has improved to 6.4%. Ten days ago it was 8.6%. McMahon said the holiday surge was not as big as expected and the county is on the right track.

Hospitalizations are also down. There are 230 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Eleven of those patients are waiting to be transferred to the COVID unit at Loretto for nursing home residents waiting for a negative test. 43 patients are in the ICU.

With changes happening daily, McMahon said he’ll provide updates more often via Facebook. Mondays and Thursdays he hosts media briefings at 3 p.m. You can find those streaming on LocalSYR.com.

Watch McMahon’s full briefing in the player below.

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