BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The KeyBank Center becoming Erie County's third mass vaccination site is huge for the fight against COVID-19.
"It's great news for Erie County and all of Western New York," Dr. Thomas Russo, Chief of Infectious Disease at the University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine, said. "The vaccine supply will increase over the next couple of weeks."
According to Dr. Russo, the fact that the KeyBank Center site is only vaccinating people over 65 will help when it comes to vaccinating the rest of the population.
"Hopefully we will get all of those individuals who are 65 and older vaccinated and then we can move into vaccinating other groups," Dr. Russo said.
Erie County says these sites can vaccinate thousands of people. Dr. Nancy Nielsen from the WNY Vaccination Planning Team says how fast New York expands vaccinations depends on how many doses the state receives.
"If we get vaccines rolling in, then yes, we will give it to everybody," Dr. Nielsen said.
People who are not eligible for a vaccine as of yet could still face a long wait. This, Dr. Russo says, is due to the massive amount of individuals with comorbidities in group 1C.
"The 1C group represents about half of nys so thats going to take a little bit more time>
Dr. Russo says Western New York already has about 20,000 first shots given, a good sign as the KeyBank Center site opens next Wednesday.
"Vaccination is what is going to get us out of this mess and get us back to doing those things we want to do," Dr. Russo said.
If all goes to plan, experts say by the time the weather turns warmer many will be eligible.
"We think adults will be able to get at least one shot by the summer," Dr. Nielsen said.
For more information on the KeyBank Center site, visit the link here.