Oneida County fighting against lower vaccination rates

Local News

UTICA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s been about a month since New Yorkers 16 years old and older became eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccines. Now, many Central New York counties are seeing fewer people at their vaccination sites. It’s the same story in Oneida County.

This, after the county just dealt with its largest COVID cluster yet. More than a year into this pandemic, more than 300 students and families were sent into quarantine after the virus spread at a dance competition in Syracuse. But County Executive Anthony Picente said, at this point in the pandemic, these superspreaders can be avoided.

How? He said by following the protocol of staying home when you’re sick and vaccinating all who are eligible. Only 43% of the population in Oneida County who is 16 years old and older has gotten both shots. Experts estimate that number needs to well above 70% for any kind of immunity.

Picente is noticing people who are 25 to 45 years old are simply holding off on getting vaccinated. The health department is doing everything it can to change that, offering to go into neighborhoods and businesses to vaccinate groups of 10 or more people.

“The PODs, as of late, while we’re still active and the numbers tend to move around like the cases, it’s not what we had a few weeks ago so, we really need people to step up,” Picente said.

Oneida County has seven vaccination clinics coming up through May 21, including one happening at Vernon Downs on Tuesday, May 4. Walk-ins and appointments are accepted at all locations.

Here’s the other clinics coming up:

  • May 6 at the Oneida County Health Department Utica Clinic.
  • May 7 at the Oneida County Health Department Rome Clinic.
  • May 11 at the Oneida County Health Department Rome Clinic.
  • May 12 at the Oneida County Health Department Utica Clinic.
  • May 20 at the Oneida County Health Department Utica Clinic
  • May 21 at the Oneida County Health Department Rome Clinic.

If you want the health department to come to your business for vaccines, or if you need a ride to a clinic, call them at 315-798-5439.

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