Onondaga County to establish wait list and lottery to help seniors get vaccine appointments with less anxiety

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The process to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine has been frustrating, to say the least. But for seniors who are not tech-savvy or lack access to the internet, the process can be impossible.

During his briefing on Monday, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said the county is working on a pilot program to level the playing field for seniors to get the vaccine.

Seniors are more likely to need hospitalization or die if they contract COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 8 out of 10 COVID deaths in the U.S. have been adults 65 years and older.

McMahon said the pilot program will allow seniors 65 years and older to pre-register for a vaccine. When the county receives their allotment of doses from the state, a certain number of those doses will be dedicated to the pre-registered seniors, with a system, possibly similar to a raffle or lottery, to choose who gets the vaccine that week.

We’ll try this out. We’ll see if it works better. And I want everybody to get a shot in the county and I want it to happen yesterday. But that’s just not where we are. So we just need to be patient with each other.

Ryan McMahon, Onondaga County Executive

McMahon said if this system works, he’s hoping pharmacies will partner to pull from the county’s pre-registration list. Kinney Drugs is the largest chain of stores in Onondaga County offering vaccines.

McMahon promises more details on the program to be released Tuesday.

Watch Monday’s full briefing in the player below:

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