With supply expected to outpace demand, Ulster plans vaccine outreach efforts

Vaccines being administered in Woodstock. (Photo by Dion Ogust)

The first Ulster County residents to be vaccinated against Covid-19 were healthcare workers in the closing weeks of 2020. For the next several months, getting vaccinated was a matter of luck and persistence. Frustration was common.

Thanks to increased supply, the tide has turned. This week, the county received 10,800 doses spread across county- and state-run sites, as well as doctor’s offices and pharmacies. That number has continued to climb with each allocation. In recent weeks, appointments were announced at large dispensing sites in Kingston and New Paltz and, rather than immediately being snatched up, they remained available for days, then, gradually, were obtainable to anyone at their convenience.

As of this afternoon 83,705, or 46.9 percent of the county’s population has been vaccinated with at least one dose. Subtract those under 16 who aren’t eligible, and it’s better than half the adult population. That still leaves tens of thousands who will need to receive a jab to get the local population to herd immunity.

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County Executive Pat Ryan, speaking this afternoon, said the county aims to tackle this issue in two ways:

  1. Making getting a vaccine more convenient by setting up walk-in clinics in all corners of the county.
  2. Conducting outreach efforts to convince skeptical or hesitant residents to get vaccinated.

On point one, the county held its first walk-in clinic today at the Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center, 476, Broadway, in Kingston, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Future walk-in clinics are planned:

  • Monday, April 19, 12-7 p.m. at the Marlborough Justice Court, 21 Milton Turnpike, Milton.
  • Tuesday, April 20, 12-7 p.m. at the Shandaken Town Hall, 7209 Route 28, Shandaken.
  • Saturday, April 24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ellenville High School, 28 Maple Ave., Ellenville.

For the first two clinics, residents can also make appointments if they want to guarantee a spot, though county officials don’t expect there to be much of a wait. Appointments can be made here. The Ellenville clinic is walk-in only.

Some good numbers

Active cases in Ulster County fell 18 percent since this time last week, from 1726 to 1407.  Meanwhile, the positivity rate fell to 3.7 percent after hovering around 5 percent and above for several weeks.

There have no new deaths this week; the total since the pandemic began stands at 247.

Currently, 12 residents are hospitalized, with four in the intensive care unit.

 

Where to get vaccinated

Visit the county health department site for updated times and places. In addition to the main location at the former Best Buy in the Hudson Valley Mall, various walk-in clinics are planned.

Make an appointment for the state-run site at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz. 

Village Apothecary has been holding clinics in Woodstock. More info here.

Other pharmacies throughout the county are also providing doses. Here’s a list of them.

 

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