STAR LAKE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Five north country counties lead the state in getting first-dose shots in arms. St. Lawrence County is one of them.
From a state mass vaccination site doing 1,000 shots a day to pop-ups like one in January in Star Lake, it seems to be working in St. Lawrence County.
“A lot of people are ready to get back to their everyday normal lives. … We’ve had no issues trying to find people to vaccinate,” said Hunter Coloney, Clifton-Fine Hospital clinic manager.
In St. Lawrence County, more than 22 percent of the population has received a first dose. In Franklin, Clinton, and Essex counties it’s similar. Hamilton has a stellar number at just over 43 percent. The statewide average is 14.8 percent.
“The state is watching that when you are allocated doses that you can use them … Once they allocate it they want to know that it is getting into the arms of individuals of the counties,” said Dana McGuire, St. Lawrence Co. Public Health director.
There’s little doubt having a state mass vaccination site like the one at SUNY Potsdam helps.
“We are really fortunate that we have that state site to supplement our efforts,” said McGuire.
But it’s not the whole story. Targeted county vaccination sites and Kinney Drugs are also a part. So are call lists.
“We know a lot of our patients in our community,” said Coloney. “When the vaccine becomes available, we’re actually reaching out to those members on our wait list.”
That’s one way tiny Clifton-Fine got more than 400 shots in arms in just two days in late January. Supply is another issue and lately the county is getting more vaccine.
Early on there were fears remote, sparsely populated areas would get left behind in the vaccine scramble. But so far, in some areas of the north country, the opposite is proving true.
With the vaccines being used, second doses are the next step. So far in St. Lawrence County, almost two-thirds of those getting a first dose already have their second.