Orleans expects vaccinations for Covid-19 to start this week in the county

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 December 2020 at 3:48 pm

ALBION – Orleans County health officials expect vaccines will start this week for people in the “1A” group – residents and staff and long-term care facilities. Healthcare workers are also in the 1A group and many of them also received the vaccine last week, traveling to Unity Health in Rochester for the shot.

The vaccine will now be administered in Orleans County and it could take into the end of next week to administer the shots in the 1A group. Then health officials will start with the “1B” group of frontline workers, including EMS staff, coroners, and funeral home workers.

“It is very fluid with little information flowing from the state,” said Paul Pettit, the public health director in Genesee and Orleans counties. “This will be a mammoth effort that will require all our community partners (Public Health, health systems, providers and pharmacies) to assist in vaccinating over the next 6 months.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that 140,000 people have received the first of two shots of the vaccine so far in the state.

New York expects to receive another 259,000 doses this week, with 139,400 coming from Pfizer and 119,600 coming from Moderna, Cuomo said.

The state is expanding the priority populations eligible to receive a vaccine to include urgent care center employees and individuals administering Covid-19 vaccines, including local health department staff, and residents of the Office of Addiction Services and Supports’ congregate facilities.

Vaccines will continue to be distributed for high-risk hospital workers, federally qualified health center employees, EMS, coroners, medical examiners, funeral workers and residents and staff of Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and Office of Mental Health facilities, Cuomo said.

“Next week, the state expects to expand this universe further with the addition of ambulatory care workers and public-facing public health workers,” he said.

Locally, Pettit said Orleans Community Health in Medina and Oak Orchard Health in Albion will be administering the shots for the 1A group. He expects people will make appointments for the vaccinations as the county moves to 1B and other groups or they will get the shots through scheduled clinics.

After people get the first vaccination shot, they will need to get the second shot three weeks later.