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Officials: Vaccine numbers controlled by state

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County government on Wednesday issued a news release to remind local residents that COVID-19 vaccine distribution is solely dictated by state rules.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said that as resident frustration grows over the slow vaccine rollout in New York state, distribution remains dictated by state officials. Distribution remains slow and each weekly shipment to county public health departments is earmarked for certain resident groups by the state Department of Health.

“New York state determines how many vaccines Fulton County receives, and who county departments are able to vaccinate,” the release said. “Fulton County government is not currently receiving enough vaccines to meet the needs of our community nor even vaccinate all of those who have signed up for a COVID-19 vaccine. County government officials are adamant that state officials should be placing more emphasis on getting vaccine to senior citizens.”

At this time, state vaccine supply remains minimal, with only 100 to 200 doses being allocated to the Fulton County Public Health Department each week. When vaccine shipments are received, the county is required to prioritize essential workers without flexibility to prioritize seniors. Stead said the state strategy is to direct the 65 plus population to local pharmacies for COVID-19 vaccination. If you are 65 plus, please visit your local pharmacy’s website for information regarding registration. You may also visit the state’s “Am-I Eligible” website to check for any appointments at New York state-run vaccination sites. You may have to check the page frequently to see available openings.

The release said public health departments in area counties are conducting vaccination PODS weekly and Fulton County will continue to advocate for increased vaccine distribution and for the ability to vaccinate the 65 plus population.

According to state listings provided to Fulton County, as of Feb. 19, the following have been allocated vaccine:

Nathan Littauer Hospital Association — 1,560 doses.

Fulton County Public Health Department — 1,200.

Walgreens (Johnstown) — 100.

Walgreens (Gloversville) — 100.

Community Health Center — 100.

Total vaccines for Fulton County — 3,060.

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