The demand for COVID-19 vaccine in Cattaraugus County continues to outpace supply.
Olean General Hospital continues to vaccinate individuals in the 1A group — health care workers and others — by appointment only.
The Cattaraugus County Health Department will open a third vaccination POD (point of distribution) this week at the Delevan Fire Hall Training Center.
Health department staff will continue to offer vaccinations by appointment only at the Olean campus of Jamestown Community College and at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds in Little Valley. The JCC site is being used to administer second doses to people with appointments.
Dr. Kevin D. Watkins, public health director, said the health department received additional doses to administer this week along with directions from the state Health Department on what groups to target.
“We were allocated 400 doses this week,” Watkins said, adding that half of those doses will go to essential workers. Another 100 will be administered to residents age 65 and older while 100 doses will go to teachers in high-risk situations where they are in close contact with students.
Watkins said the teachers to be vaccinated were identified with help from BOCES staff. They will be vaccinated Wednesday from 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Like other essential workers, Watkins said there are a lot of teachers to be vaccinated. The intention is to vaccinate those at the highest risk first. The risk is less for a teacher in a classroom with students in masks and sitting behind plexiglass shields, he explained.
Senior citizens with appointments in Delevan will be vaccinated Wednesday from noon to 2:15 p.m. Teachers will be vaccinated between 2:30 and 5 p.m. Essential workers are scheduled to be vaccinated in Delevan on Thursday.
Watkins said residents with questions about COVID-19 vaccine should call the county’s Vaccine Call Center at (716) 701-3777. You can also ask to be placed on a waiting list.
Watkins said people calling the Call Center usually have two questions: “Where can I get the vaccine and when?”
He said the waiting list contains 2,604 names.
Watkins said the state Health Department has not provided a list or the number of doses of vaccine being administered at local pharmacies, which are charged with vaccinating people 65 and older. Rite-Aid and Tops locations have recently received limited supplies of vaccine.
Information about pharmacies where COVID-19 vaccinations can be found is listed on their various company websites. Residents may also call or stop by. The pharmacies do not administer vaccine without an appointment.
To utilize state vaccination sites, people need to check the Am I Eligible app at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at (833) 697-4829. Once you have successfully scheduled an appointment, you will receive a confirmation email that contains a barcode. You will need to bring this to your appointment.
On Monday, there were four state vaccination sites where appointments were available: The SUNY Potsdam fieldhouse and three New York City area locations, the Javits Center, Aqueduct Racetrack and the Westchester County Center.
Other sites indicate “No appointments available.” New Yorkers are urged to check back often. If you go without an appointment or without identification, you will not receive the vaccine.
Starting Feb. 15, persons over age 16 with medical conditions — called comorbidities — will be able to begin making appointments to be vaccinated.
As of Monday morning, Western New York had received 182,665 doses of vaccine and administered 156,986 doses, or 86%. Statewide, the vaccination rate is 76%.
Cattaraugus and Allegany counties report using 86% of their supplies.
The state COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard also reports 68% of hospital workers in Western New York have been vaccinated. The same percentage of hospital workers have been vaccinated in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.
On skilled nursing facilities, 84% of the residents and 50% of the staff have been vaccinated in Cattaraugus County, and 79% of nursing home residents and 53% of staff have been vaccinated in Allegany County, the state dashboard shows.