WATERLOO — Seneca County quickly used up its initial 400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at clinics conducted Jan. 14 at the Health Department and Jan. 16 at del Lago Resort & Casino.
The county received another 600 doses Monday, according to county Public Health Director Vickie Swinehart, and she expects them to be used at vaccination clinics scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Saturday at del Lago. Swinehart said those clinics are already full and no new appointments will be taken.
“The 65 and older population is supposed to be able to receive their vaccination through local pharmacies, such as Kinney Drugs in Seneca Falls,” Swinehart said. “My understanding is that they are setting up appointments and I am hearing their clinics is also full.”
Kinney store officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
“As you can imagine, the demand for the vaccine is huge. We are still only able to vaccinate the priority 1A and 1B groups of first responders, law enforcement, EMS workers, teachers,” Swinehart said. “We request vaccine weekly from the state Department of Health and are never sure how much of that request will be received. That makes it challenging to schedule clinics. It is very frustrating for residents as everyone wants to receive the vaccine.”
Swinehart urged patience and expressed hope that the supply of vaccine will be more robust and can get administered faster.
She said the county plans to provide clinics over the next several months.
“I am confident that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to be vaccinated. Unfortunately, not exactly when they would like to get vaccinated,” Swinehart said. “It is also important that everyone who receives the first dose make sure they are fully immunized and get their second dose. It is the only way we will be able to stop this virus.”
The county’s two clinics have immunized 416 people. Swinehart said a person does not need to be a Seneca County resident to receive the vaccine at the county clinics, but those who get the first dose need to get their second dose at the same place.
As of Monday, the county had 1,335 confirmed COVID cases, with 189 current active cases. There are 681 people in quarantine, 25 hospitalized, 1,089 who have fully recovered and there have been 57 deaths. The most cases are in Waterloo with 496 and the fewest are in Varick with 20. The most age-group cases are 208 between the ages of 50 and 59.