Nearly half of vaccine doses at state clinic in Genesee County going to Erie County residents

Posted at 1:59 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 23:18:25-05

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WKBW) — It was announced Thursday a temporary mass vaccination site would open in Batavia at SUNY Genesee Community College Friday through Tuesday.

Appointments opened Thursday morning and officials say within 90 minutes all were accounted for.

County officials say nearly half of the 3,500 doses expected to be administered at the site will be going to Erie County residents.

“After careful analysis of the registrations, what we expected to happen once we were told the clinic was open to anyone eligible, regardless of residency, did happen…The GOW region will be receiving less than 25% of the allotted 3500 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “For those in the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming (GOW) region who were able to register for this weekend’s state-run temporary mass clinic we understand how challenging it was. For those who live in our GOW region and were shut-out of this clinic, we will continue to advocate for vaccine for our residents.”

Here is the breakdown by county residence, according to data provided by the Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments, on those who made an appointment for the site:

  • Erie County: 1,666 spots or 47.6%
  • Genesee County: 596 spots or 17.03%
  • Niagara County: 446 spots or 12.74%
  • Monroe County: 326 spots or 9.31%
  • Orleans County: 169 spots or 4.83%
  • Wyoming County: 99 spots or 2.38%
  • Livingston County: 73 spots or 2.09%
  • Ontario County: 45 spots or 1.29%
  • 15 other counties and out of state residents each had less than 1%

“The purpose of our request was to help increase our vaccination rate, and provide for our county residents who have been shorted throughout this pandemic. This clinic assuredly did not significantly impact our rates,” said Pettit. “With only 864 of the 3,500 doses of vaccine remaining in our three counties, we are still well below the current state-wide vaccination rate. We will continue to seek additional allocations to bring parity for the counties’ vaccination rates.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R - Batavia) released a statement Friday expressing his concern over the distribution of the vaccine at the site.

“This statewide free-for-all for vaccines is leaving rural New Yorkers behind, and is causing people from all throughout the state to come to our community to use up the small allocation of vaccines our community desperately needs,” said Hawley. “We need to be smarter about ensuring vaccines given to a community stay in that community, rather than allowing a statewide scramble for shots which keeps doses out of the arms of those who need them most in rural areas.”

County health officials say some appointments may be canceled, you can check back periodically for appointment availability at https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or call 1-833-697-4829.