County continues efforts to bring vaccine, clinics to residents


UTICA — The Oneida County Health Department — along with several partners including the Oneida Indian Nation — have ramped up efforts to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible local residents.

This weekend, the county is in the midst of administering 5,300 doses of the vaccine at sites including the Events Center at the Turning Stone Casino Resort and the former JCPenney store at the Sangertown Square Mall. The increase in available vaccines comes after a coordination push by County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and other local officials on the state to make more vaccines available for the area and the federal Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Today, the county is administering shots at the former JCPenney store at the Sangertown Square Mall in New Hartford until 6 p.m. for individuals who made appointments through the county’s vaccination website.

On Sunday, the county will also be administering shots at its POD site on Hangar Road on the Griffiss Business and Technology Park from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Appointments must be made in advance and can be made online at Typically, the county begins accepting the online appointments the day before the scheduled vaccination clinic. On Monday, March 8, the county will again have a POD for eligible Oneida County residents in the 33,000-square foot Event Center at the Turning Stone.

Eligibility for the vaccine includes Oneida County residents who are 65 years and older, medical workers, first responders, teachers, and grocery and convenience store workers as well as those with chronic conditions. Residents interested in scheduling an appointment to receive the vaccine at Turning Stone should also visit

The county’s available vaccination including first dosages of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations as well as a lesser, but still significant number of the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The vaccination clinics — in addition to existing ones at Mohawk Valley Community College and the Griffiss Park POD — are part of “Oneida County’s continued efforts to protect and secure the safety of our residents, especially those most vulnerable,” Picente said during a COVID briefing earlier this week. “We are glad to have trusted partners like the Oneida Indian Nation step up to the plate and work cooperatively with us so that we all arrive on the other side of this pandemic stronger and safer together.”

Oneida County residents who have confirmed vaccine appointments at Turning Stone are instructed to park in the parking garage and will be required to follow the Oneida Indian Nation’s health and safety protocols, including mandatory face coverings, ID verification and screening before entering. Additional screeners will be available at the parking garage entrance on Monday to help expedite the process.

Second-doses will continue as scheduled at the county’s Mohawk Valley Community College POD in Utica as well as the Griffiss Park POD.

In addition to the county vaccination sites, New York state continues to offer vaccines to eligible residents at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy and the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Vaccinations are also available for seniors at various area pharmacies.

Price Chopper/Market 32 announced on Friday that it has added new pharmacies — including at its store in Rome at 1790 Black River Blvd. — the which will offer both the Johnson & Johnson and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines – based on availability -- to individuals who qualify, focusing on those who are age 65 and older. Other pharmacies also offer the vaccine; and people can check with their pharmacy, or the pharmacy’s website, to check on availability and/or scheduling of appointments.

People can determine if they are eligible for a vaccination by using the Am I Eligible app, calling the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829) or going online to

Whether going to a state or county-operated site, individuals should bring appropriate paperwork to verify their eligibility for the vaccination. Depending on your eligibility category, proof can include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, a pay stub, a driver’s license, passport, a letter from your doctor or health care professional on their letterhead, or any legal proof of your date of birth and residency.

At the time of your appointment, you’ll be asked a series of clinical questions to ensure readiness for a vaccine. You will be asked for insurance information BUT the vaccine is free and there will never be a charge to you. This information is for administrative use only.

Those who receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, will have a second dose appointment scheduled automatically when they receive the first dose.

As of Friday morning, more than 3.2 million state residents have received the first dose of the vaccine and 1.7 million have completed the two-shot series. In Herkimer County 11,754 received a first shot and 6,592 received a second shot — according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of Herkimer County is 62,057. In Lewis County, 4,282 received a first shot and 2,460 received a second shot; Lewis County has a total population of 26,572.

In Oneida County, 45,831 individuals have received a first dose, according to the state, with 26,171 completing the two-shot series. Oneida County has a total population of 229,959. In Madison County, 13,741 people received a first dose and 7,254 received a second dose. Madison County’s total population is 71,205.


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