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JCC vaccination clinic ending; doses going mobile in Jefferson, Lewis counties

Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 2:30 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The COVID vaccination clinic at Jefferson Community College is ending for people who need their first-dose.

Instead, the vaccines will be hitting the road. In Lewis County, mobile clinics are a focus as well.

For all the times we’ve seen Jefferson Community College’s clinic busy with people, it wasn’t last week. It had 300 doses and administered 67. The leftover doses will now go to mobile vaccination sites.

“I think when we go on the road, it’s a matter of convenience. If we go right to their backyard, they’re showing up,” said Scott Gray, Jefferson County Board of Legislators chairman.

For proof, Gray points to last week’s North Country Family Health Center’s mobile vaccination site at Indian River High School, which vaccinated 160 people out of a possible 200. They plan on going to six public housing complexes all throughout Jefferson County on Wednesday.

“Some of the people that we’ll meet, that we’ll vaccinate, are truly homebound. So for them, this is a wonderful opportunity,” said April Fallon, director of marketing, North Country Family Health Center.

How are things going in Lewis County?

“Demand in Lewis County has fallen off sharply,” said Ryan Piche, county manager.

He says it’s a nationwide trend in rural counties.

“At this point, supply from New York state is not a factor, and capacity of Lewis County Health Department is not a factor. It really comes down to demand,” he said.

About 45 percent of people in Lewis County have received their first dose. In Jefferson County, that number is 63 percent. Herd immunity is 70 to 80 percent. Now, the goal is to hit the road to get the final shots in arms.

“The hill gets steeper towards the end,” said Gray.

In the past few weeks, Lewis County has been to several locations outside of Lowville, while Jefferson County is tentatively planning sites in Redwood and Great Bend.

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