Hospital administers its last COVID vaccine dose on hand to retiree

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Robert Verdgeline, a New York State School for the Deaf retiree, received Rome Memorial Hospital’s final dose of its current COVID-19 vaccine allotment on Wednesday afternoon.

The hospital administered a record 345 vaccinations Wednesday, bringing the total to 2,781 doses administered.

Hospitals were notified that they would not receive any additional shipments of vaccine this week, therefore Rome Memorial’s vaccine clinic has closed until additional vaccine becomes available.

The limited amount of vaccine that was allocated to the 6-county region has been allocated to the county and local pharmacies. Visit the county’s website to book an appointment when scheduling opens for the 2,900 available doses. The website address is:  https://www.ocgov.net/

Rome Memorial Hospital will begin administering the second dose of the Moderna vaccine to those who received their immunizations here, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 20. That shipment has been confirmed and is on its way to the hospital.

There are currently 7 million people in the state eligible under the expanded guidelines, wowever, New York only receives 300,000 doses a week to distribute vaccination sites across the entire state. Due to limited supply from the federal government, it may be 12 or more weeks before an appointment is available to those in 1B, hospital officials said.

During County Executive Anthony Picente’s Facebook Live update Wednesday, he said the Oneida County Department of Health had 2,900 doses of vaccine available to administer to eligible populations with the county anticipating weekend appointments at its POD site in Utica at the Mohawk Valley Community College Jorgensen Center. In addition, he said the county is in the process of establishing a drive-through POD at Griffiss that could be operational as early as today.

The state did expand eligibility to people 65 and older. However, it has not yet provided guidance about who will be eligible under the “immuno-compromised” definition, the hospital announcement said.

People age 65 and over will primarily be vaccinated at pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network.”

“We encourage you to go to your local pharmacy websites and sign-up for their e-mail and/or text alerts so you are notified when and if they begin offering appointments,” the hospital statement said. Officials added people can also use the state’s Am I Eligible? app or website, https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/, to find vaccination sites where appointments can be scheduled. If family and friends cannot assist with online booking, appointments can also be made by calling the New York State scheduling hotline at 1-833-697-4829.

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