Tompkins County received a total of 1,170 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the week of March 8. Of the 1,170 doses, 700 are designated for phase 1B essential workers and 470 for individuals with comorbidities. The doses for 1B essential workers will no longer be separated out by industry and will be offered to a random selection of individuals who have signed up for the Tompkins County COVID-19 Vaccine Registry. The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) also used the registry to communicate directly with individuals who have comorbidities. All available appointments have been communicated to eligible individuals and have been filled for this week.
TCHD continues to urge community members who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to sign up for the registry, and for everyone to help ensure eligible friends and family members are registered as well. Caregivers, family members, or friends can complete this registry on behalf of someone who does not have access to the Internet. Individuals without computer and/or internet access may also call 2-1-1 (877-211-8667) during regular business hours 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and someone can register them over the phone. If indicated in the registry, individuals who do not have computer access will be called by a staff member from 2-1-1 or the County’s Office for the Aging to register for an appointment. This registry does not guarantee a vaccine appointment.
TCHD is also urging all individuals on the registry to pay close attention to their email and phones, as the appointment links will be shared directly with those who are eligible. In order to ensure that clinics are filled, TCHD may send links to more individuals in a group than the number of available appointments. If you receive a link but no appointment is available, you will continue to receive a link in upcoming weeks.
Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “We need 100% of those who are eligible to get vaccinated when an appointment becomes available for you. We’re also asking that people continue to take care of friends and family members by sharing information about the registry and vaccine safety and efficacy. This pandemic has had a huge strain on all of us, and we’re nearing the end, but we all need to continue to do our part.”
As of March 7, New York State is reporting 22,565 Tompkins County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, TCHD is reporting having completed 13,674 of those first doses through local clinics in partnership with Cayuga Health System.
Kruppa continued, “As vaccinations increase, it is critical that everyone continue to wear masks when out in public and keep distance from one another. We know these vaccines are effective in keeping people healthy, but we do not know how they impact people’s ability to spread the disease.” He added, “The CDC has recently issued more guidance about individuals who are fully vaccinated, but TCHD continues to follow New York State Department of Health guidance and we will communicate any changes to the community.”
TCHD has held a series of virtual “COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A Office Hours” with local doctors to answer questions about the vaccines. Events have been held for communities of color, Spanish speakers, older adults, and parents and caregivers among more general conversations. TCHD is urging anyone with questions about vaccine safety and effectiveness to watch an event or explore the TCHD website.
For local updates and information, check the TCHD website.