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Sullivan County Moves Forward on Securing, Delivering Vaccine

Rick Sauer receives his shot

Sullivan County Public Safety Commissioner Rick Sauer receives his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Public Health Services in Liberty.

Liberty, NY – Thanks to an increase in State and Federal supply channels, Sullivan County Public Health Services anticipates a consistent supply of 200-300 doses of COVID-19 vaccine every week, increasing by 20% each week for the next three weeks, according to the NYS Department of Health.

“While our needs remain far greater than what we’re currently being given, we’re glad to know that supplies are increasing and that, barring anything unforeseen, we’ll be able to continually ramp up the rollout of these coveted vaccine doses,” said Public Health Director Nancy McGraw.

Should the rise in supply be sustained, Public Health anticipates mounting a mass vaccination clinic at SUNY Sullivan in March.

Meanwhile, clinics are ongoing for those classified as essential workers under the State’s eligibility rules. Next week, the 647 people aged 65+ who received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in January will begin to return to Public Health’s Liberty office to receive their second dose, as well as 202 essential workers.

“We have held 7 clinics over the past two weeks, vaccinating a total of 1,285 people, including 638 police officers, firefighters, teachers and healthcare workers,” McGraw noted. “Our partners have been busy too, with Garnet Health Medical Center-Catskills inoculating 1,599 people since December. The Center for Discovery, which serves a medically fragile population, has vaccinated approximately 900 staff and residents.”

Between 100 and 200 doses of vaccine are expected to be delivered in the coming week to Garnet, Sun River Health in Monticello, the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Liberty and the ShopRite Pharmacy in Monticello, according to an email from the NYS Department of Health.

Sullivan County most recently requested 400 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine but was allocated 300 by the State, reserved for essential workers and special populations of individuals with disabilities (OPWDD).

“I expect legislators to pass a resolution this Thursday, demanding State and Federal authorities more rapidly expand vaccine supplies, so that we can make a faster, larger difference in the lives of our residents,” explained County Manager Josh Potosek. “We already have nearly 60 people willing to voluntarily assist at our clinics, but we need the State and Feds to step up so that we can put these volunteers to work at large-scale vaccination events.”