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COVID-19 vaccine rollout stalling

JOHNSTOWN — Some of the initial COVID-19 vaccine batch that Fulton County received has gone to vaccinations for the huge Lexington Center operation, county officials said last week.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead told the county Board of Supervisors that the county is currently working on creating a “small cadre” of volunteers to dispense the COVID-19 vaccine the county receives. But he said the Fulton County Public Health Department has provided vaccinations in recent weeks, and was heavily involved with Lexington Center. At some point, he said the county’s supply was exhausted or “dosed out” and the county awaits more vaccine.

Lexington Center — the county’s primary agency for the disabled — employs over 1,000 people and serves about as many.

In a COVID report to the board, Stead said Gov. Andrew Cuomo has provided initial information about “1A and 1B” categories of people due to get the vaccine, such as doctors, nurses, other health care providers, the infirmed, police, fire, teachers and those over 75. But he said the situation has become confusing as supplies have dwindled.

Stead said reports of setting up open vaccination situations proved untrue. Eventually, he said Cuomo stated to the public “don’t expect it to be any day now” regarding vaccines.

Eventually, the “1C” category for vaccinations will be for the general public, Stead said.

“Our hospital has been doing a wonderful job,” Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born said of Nathan Littauer Hospital.

Stead said that the Gloversville-based hospital does have more of an “organized system” dealing with COVID.

He said the public and those dealing with pandemic like the county need accurate “advanced notice” on particulars regarding COVID vaccine distribution and potential vaccinations.

Stead said the state makes announcements all the time but “they have not gotten vaccines out there.”

The Fulton County Public Health Department last weekend offered a reminder to the public.

The reminder — in the form of a brief news release– indicated that even with the vaccine, it will be months before there are enough people vaccinated to hit herd immunity. The release reminded the public to continue to practice non-pharmaceutical interventions.

Those include: Wear a face mask, keep six feet apart, wash or sanitize your hands frequently; refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and disinfect frequently used items and your home or workspace.

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