Governor Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials across New York say the federal government must speed the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses to the state, which then allocates them to localities as vaccination appointments are snapped up as quickly as they go online.

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Cuomo said January 13 that more than 7 million people statewide are now eligible to be vaccinated but the state is receiving just 300,000 vaccine doses a week.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says the County has been getting only about 200 out of the 500 doses it requests for the vaccines it is giving to those in group 1a it is responsible for inoculating right now.

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Garnar urges residents: “please don’t call the health department” trying to secure a place in line for the shots the county doesn’t have.  The department is being overwhelmed as it is already seeing resources stretched by the increase in cases needing the attention of contact tracers.

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Once vaccines arrive, Broome County will be operating a mass vaccination site at the SUNY Broome Ice Center in the Town of Dickinson.  BCC President Dr. Kevin Drumm says he is pleased the facility will be used to save lives as it has sadly been sitting idle during the months of the pandemic.  Drumm says the facility is a perfect choice for the clinic, not only due to its size, location and available parking but it also has an environmental system that mimics outdoor conditions while being sheltered from the weather.

Garnar says once the county is supplied with vaccine, it would be able to administer 500 doses a day.  He says the New York State operated site at the former Gannett publishing facility in Johnson City should be able to do 800 to 1,000 doses a day.  All that doesn’t include the pharmacies that are signed on to participate like CVS and Walgreens, the hospitals and individual doctor’s offices… all just waiting for the arrival of the precious COVID-19 vaccines.

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