More COVID vaccine presents new challenge for Jefferson County

More COVID vaccine presents new challenge for Jefferson County
Vaccination clinic at JCC (Source: WWNY)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County is finally seeing the volume of vaccines it has been asking for. But with more supply there is a new challenge.

“It’s going to be another big week next week,” said Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray.

He says the county is receiving extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week from the state.

“When we run a Pfizer clinic, each clinic is 1,170; it’s a big day. We will be running that Wednesday and Friday of next week,” he said.

Those doses don’t include the state allocation for next week which Gray says could push the county over 3,000 doses.

On top of that, there will be 2 clinics for those ready for a second dose.

Gray says the added volume has created new challenges

“We’re straining right now with staffing, trying to get the staff. I was just on the phone with Andy Short at Samaritan and we’re just trying to get as much staff there as we can,” he said.

Andy Short, vice president and chief operating officer at Samaritan Medical Center, says area hospitals have been providing nurses for the vaccination clinics at Jefferson Community College since they began.

But, it could be difficult to keep up as more people show up for appointments

“When four weeks rolled around, we expected we would have second dose and first dose appointments combining on the same day. So we would sort of run into this scenario where clinics were going to get larger,” said Short.

Short says none of the organizations involved in the county vaccination effort will have to provide more staff than they already have been.

Gray says they will assess how the clinics are operating and adapt.

“Everything presents a challenge and that is you have to have people to vaccinate, you know, 4 days a week, long days and, you know, they are several hours that they are going every day so those are all good things. We will get by them and we will figure it out,” he said.

Registration for next week’s first dose clinics have already been posted. You can find links those here.

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