Lewis County wants and needs more COVID vaccine, officials say

WWNY Lewis County wants and needs more COVID vaccine, officials say

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - With more vaccine flowing into the north county, Lewis County says it wants and needs more.

At the Lewis County Courthouse Wednesday morning, county officials held a news briefing to discuss the county’s vaccine efforts.

The county has been making progress, vaccinating more than half of those age 65 and older and administering first doses to almost 20 percent of its population.

County Manager Ryan Piche says that progress could be better.

“We’ve been advocating from day 1 for rural counties like Lewis County that are a long distance from the state sites to have a better supply so we can take care of our own people,” he said.

While national vaccine supply is increasing, the county is still receiving fewer doses than other areas.

For example, Jefferson County received and administered almost 1,700 doses last week. Lewis County didn’t even come close to that as it only got 300 doses.

Two weeks ago, before the vaccine really started to flow, Jefferson County got 400, Lewis County only got 200.

“Our supply has been steady I would say, but this is not to say we wouldn’t certainly take more if the state were willing to give it to us,” said Piche.

County residents want the shot. Piche points out there are 800 people on a waiting list for their first dose.

Public Health Director Ashley Waite says she says she hopes to see more people signing up.

“With supply of vaccine increasing into the community, I want to make sure that we have a steady number of individuals on that wait list that we know when we receive vaccine, we can call these people and schedule their appointment,” she said.

Waite also says the county should be receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the coming weeks and hopes to use those doses for county residents who are currently homebound.

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