NewsChannel 9 was at Kinney Drugs as familiar face gets pharmacy’s 1st COVID-19 vaccine


LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Since Nick Pirro got used to getting his flu shot on camera when he was Onondaga County executive, Kinney Drugs thought he was the perfect person to get its first COVID-19 vaccine.

NewsChannel 9 was given exclusive access to the Kinney Drugs in Liverpool for the first COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

Pirro’s former job didn’t get him any special treatment. At 80-years-old, he was one of 15,000 seniors who made appointments with Kinney Drugs.

After months of planning the operation, Kinney Drugs was chosen by the New York State Department of Health as an option for seniors beyond the mass clinics at the Onondaga County War Memorial or New York State Fairgrounds.

Kinney has the same supply limitations every other vaccine operation faces, receiving about 20 doses per store per day.

John Marraffa, a pharmacist who serves as Kinney’s vice president of government affairs, tells NewsChannel 9: “We don’t want to overpromise, and then not be able to deliver when patients come in. So, we are being very conservative as to how far we open our schedule.”

The first day Kinney offered its appointments, all 7,500 booked up in three hours. On the second day, another 7,500 went in one hour.

As supply is promised to Kinney by New York State, the pharmacy will open up more appointments.

Pharmacists are also trying to ease people’s concerns about scheduling their second dose.

After the first shot, people won’t leave Kinney’s without making their second appointment. They don’t have to worry about going back into the online scheduling system, and competing with people scheduling first doses.

Kinney hopes to offer vaccines to the general population, once there’s enough supply and the government expands eligibility.

People who want text messages or email alerts from Kinney about new appointment openings and expanded eligibility can text COVID to 51094 or visit a special section of

More information on the Moderna version of the vaccine can be found on the pharmacy’s website as well.

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