Jefferson County: 600 COVID vaccine doses promised, 0 arrive

WWNY Jefferson County: 600 COVID vaccine doses promised, 0 arrive

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Remember when Jefferson County was expecting 600 vaccine doses earlier this week and then it was down to 100? Well, the county now says it didn’t get any. Zero. Now officials are worried that when large state-run vaccine clinics all come on-line, like the one in Potsdam, it’ll be even tougher to get resources.

This week, Jefferson County expected anywhere between 400 to 1,000 doses of COVID vaccines.

So how many did the county get?

“Zero. We’ve been shorted,” said Scott Gray, Jefferson County Board of Legislators chair.

Gray says they had to cancel around 600 vaccine appointments and points to state-run vaccination sites as a reason for the shortage.

“The resources that are important to the population that we’re responsible here are being diverted to other locations,” he said.

There are state sites located in Potsdam and Syracuse.

Gray says that’s just too far for Jefferson County residents.

“I’m certainly not going to suggest that people should be driving an hour to get a vaccination, either to Syracuse or Potsdam, in the winter time,” said Gray.

Lewis County Manager Ryan Piche says his county had a successful week of vaccinations, administering more than 500 shots.

“We’re out in the community in the fire hall in Constableville, in the fire hall in Croghan. We’re meeting people where they are and we’re eager to continue that,” he said.

Piche says next week doesn’t look as promising. Right now the county doesn’t know how many doses it will get.

“We’ve been on state calls a couple times today and we’ve been given no additional information at this point,” he said.

Piche says state sites, like the one in Potsdam, are taking doses away.

“Whatever doses are sent up there are doses that are not going to be going to the community here, where we can do it locally,” he said.

Piche’s solution is to prioritize county vaccination efforts over state sites.

“County governments are ready, we’re prepared, we’re trained. We have run practice pods every year. We do this in preparation for an event just like this,” he said.

For Gray, the answer is more county control when supplies come in.

“Whatever the county allocation is, just bring it to the county and let us take it from there. Let us manage it from there and then we will handle the processes,” he said.

Gray and Piche say they have voiced their concerns to the state, but it’s not clear if changes will happen.

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