McMahon: Residents frustrated as tens of thousands battled for 960 doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said he answered more than 120 emails Thursday from frustrated residents–many senior citizens, anxious to get the COVID-19 vaccine who ran into an internet roadblock.

Late Thursday afternoon the Onondaga County opened its website for residents to sign up for the county’s allotment of vaccine for the week, just 960 doses.

He estimated that there were about 80,000 people in the county currently eligible for the vaccine based on CDC guidelines for age and occupation, and it seems many of them tried to get a reservation. He said for those who got on to the website, many filled out a form only to have it not got through.

McMahon says people are frustrated, he’s frustrated, but this is just the reality until we get more vaccine. He says the county has built up a network so that when there is more vaccine available the county can get it out quickly to the people who need it and want it.

He’s hopeful about the new administration in Washington. He says already the communication is better. McMahon says he was on a call with the National Association of Counties and representatives of the Biden administration during the transition. He says we’ll see if that will last. McMahon says he’s an optimist.

The county executive also said it was smart of President Biden to use the Defense Production Act to get more vaccine produced. But he said the president’s stated goal of a 100-million doses of vaccine in 100 days is pretty much the pace we’re at right now and he thinks the bar should be set higher.

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