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Vaccine shipments are lagging behind

JOHNSTOWN — COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Fulton County are lagging behind, the county Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee heard Tuesday.

County Public Health Director Laurel Headwell gave a COVID update to the panel.

She said that this week Fulton County received last week’s vaccine shipment, which was delayed due to inclement weather. She said the county is trying to resume the regular schedule to vaccinate local residents.

“We’re going to have to just wait for vaccine to come,” Headwell said.

Headwell reported to supervisors that currently, there have been 3,202 positive COVID-19 cases in Fulton County. A total of 203 have been deemed actively positive, and 23 patients are currently hospitalized. The number of recovered COVID cases in Fulton County is 2,913. There have been 86 deaths. A total of 71,213 people have been tested for COVID.

One of the problems with administering the vaccine is that the state Department of Health mandates the turnaround time from receiving the vaccine and administering it be one week, Headwell said. That is sometimes not enough time, she said.

Headwell said her department has asked DOH for an extended time beyond one week to administer COVID shots. Still, she said the vaccination program moves along locally for certain groups.

“We will be doing second doses as well,” she said.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said the state is making moves to provide more and more vaccines to pharmacies.

Stead said he was on a call Monday with officials from various counties who questioned state health officials about COVID vaccinations. He said he strongly stressed the issues impacting rural areas such as Fulton County.

“We didn’t get a lot of answers,” he said.

Stead said Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville could be much more of a vaccination provider if okayed by the state.

In regular committee action, Headwell received committee approval for a proposed resolution to authorize the use of nearly $9,000 in AH1 North Country Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments Program funds by the county Public Health Department.

Headwell said the funds are from $23,840 in grant money received to improve health outreach and prevention in Fulton County.

She said proposes to purchase five laptops and carry cases related to COVID investigation and care.

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