Niagara County: Low supplies of coronavirus vaccine at pharmacies leads to the county expanding its vaccine reach

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The Niagara County Health Department has expanded its vaccine distribution to everyone in the state’s vaccine priority categories 1a and 1b and not just essential workers.

“We’re doing 1a and 1b we’re not separating groups out. We did do a large vaccination clinic on Tuesday, which is primarily for first responders, some health care workers, pharmacists things like that, but for the most part it was first responders, because we need to make sure they’re protected, so they can protect us,” said Daniel J. Stapleton, Niagara County Public Health Director

County officials say, vaccine distribution to pharmacies in the county has been low, leaving folks who are 65 and older in need of a vaccine.

“Right now, in an effort to keep things equitable, just like the governor is asking us to, we need to offer it to all of our residents who are currently eligible, otherwise they have no option and that’s not fair,” said Rebecca J. Wydysh Niagara County Legislature chairwoman. “We’re certainly seeing very few doses going to local pharmacies where seniors are expected to go and it’s not an option for them right now.”

More than 4 thousand people have been vaccinated by the county health department, since the start of vaccine distribution.

“We did do a large vaccination clinic on Tuesday, which is primarily for first responders, some health care workers, pharmacists things like that, but for the most part it was first responders, because we need to make sure they’re protected, so they can protect us,” said Stapleton.

It’s not just folks from Niagara county who are getting vaccinated at the county’s site, it’s Erie County residents as well.

“It’s for anybody, we’re mandated to provide the vaccine to anybody who is a resident of New York State. Obviously, primarily we’re doing Niagara county residents,” said Stapleton. “We had some first responders come out from Erie county just Tuesday. We don’t turn anyone away as long as they fit the criteria.”

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