A few months ago getting a Covid-19 shot was like getting into Studio 54 in 1977. Now, it’s like getting a good parking spot at the Hudson Valley Mall in 2021.
The drop in demand among residents has led Ulster County to decrease its request of vaccine doses for the first time since they became available in late December. This week the county received 2170 doses, down from a little over 3000 last week.
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said this was “not a good sign” and would mean a delay in the county reaching herd immunity. Currently, 51.3 percent of the population has received at least one dose. Herd immunity, which is the rate at which transmission of a virus is drastically curtailed, is debated for SARS-CoV-2, but the county is pegging it at about 80 percent.
Ryan framed the call for residents to get vaccinated as a duty to one’s fellow citizens.
“Everybody needs to step up and do their part,” he said. “To me, I take the concept of duty and responsibility — especially with my former military hat on — very seriously. And I think it’s everybody’s duty and responsibility as citizens and residents who care about their neighbors to get vaccinated.”
He acknowledged that getting vaccinated is “not everybody is fully comfortable with,” but said those with concerns can take confidence in the knowledge that medical experts are monitoring the risks and so far they are “very, very low.”
As we reported Monday, the county saw a 40 percent drop in its active case total over the weekend. This was attributed at the time to “clearing out a backlog.” Ryan said yesterday that the county contacts previously diagnosed residents over the phone to find out if they’re symptom-free, which can create a lag in data reporting. The drop in active cases from 1083 on Sunday, April 25 to 610 yesterday, April 27, actually took place over about a week.
Nevertheless, the most recent number should be taken as accurate, and that is good news, said Ryan.
Other numbers not so rosy
Five more county residents died in the last week, bring the total 254. In addition, 18 are hospitalized with severe cases of Covid-19, and 3 are in the intensive-care unit.
Where to get vaccinated in Ulster County
Appointments can be made at the following locations. Walk-ins are also welcome.
- 4/28: Harold Lipton Community Center in Accord, Moderna 1st dose, 200 appointments
- 4/29: Gardiner Town Hall, Moderna 1st dose, 200 appointments
- 4/30: Best Buy Location at the Hudson Valley Mall, Moderna 1st dose, 1400 appointments
- 5/3: Best Buy Location at the Hudson Valley Mall, Moderna 1st dose, 2000 appointments
Appointments are available to receive the Pfizer vaccine at the state-run site at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz. Currently, those 60 and older don’t need an appointment. Starting tomorrow, that will be the case for all residents 16 and up.
Need transportation? County buses will offer free rides to vaccination centers on its fixed routes. It will also accommodate those over the age of 60 and those with disabilities with curb-to-curb transportation. All rides must be reserved in advance by calling (845) 334-8120 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at least one day before your vaccination, and on the Friday before a Monday appointment.