BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a new pop-up vaccination site will open at Buffalo’s Delavan-Grider Community Center on March 3.
Before announcing this, the Governor spoke of the continued skepticism some people have over getting vaccinated for COVID-19. He also spoke of the low availability of vaccines in some parts of the state.
After referencing Cheektowaga and the east side of Buffalo by name, Cuomo announced that the plan is to have 1,000 people vaccinated at the Delevan-Grider Community Center each day. That would lead to 7,000 people getting vaccinated there every week.
Scheduling for vaccines at this clinic will begin on Wednesday for people living in targeted areas, and March 3 for others.
The announcement comes one day after Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced he would like to work with the state and National Guard to turn the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center into a mass vaccination site. That is something that could happen “hopefully within a month,” Poloncarz said.
“It certainly makes sense to have a mass vaccination site in Buffalo because of the size of our population,” the county executive said.
Jeanette Andrews, a resident of the suburbs who isn’t used to driving in downtown traffic, said she isn’t a fan of the site selection.
“The people out in the boonies can’t get to Buffalo, or they’re like me and they’re old and they’re afraid to drive in Buffalo. They can’t afford to park in Buffalo,” she said.
Poloncarz was asked Tuesday why the convention center is a better option than Bills Stadium for a mass vaccination site.
“We’re learning from drive thru vaccination sites across the U.S. that you have to shut down those vaccination sites in cold weather,” Poloncarz responded.
“There’s also storage issues and delivery issues when it’s so cold out. We know this is Buffalo. It can still get cold in March and April,” he added.
Poloncarz also noted Franklin St. in front of the convention center is scheduled to receive some road work, and that county officials have a plan to work around that.
“We’re looking at potentially using not only the Franklin St. entrance because of the city’s issue with the repaving, but we’re also looking at what would be considered the Genesee St. entrance,” he said.
Looking at the latest COVID-19 numbers, Gov. Cuomo says the state’s overall positivity rate is 3.58 percent. In western New York, it’s even lower, at 3.1 percent.
New York’s seven-day average positivity rate is 3.6 percent — the lowest number since Nov. 28.
109 New Yorkers died as a result of COVID-19 on Tuesday.