COVID-19 vaccine interest dwindles

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center nurse Cheryl Smith, right, prepares to vaccinate Louise Thrasher against the novel coronavirus in December. In response to unfilled appointment slots and apparent declining interest in getting vaccinated against COVID-19, the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department is preparing to shift its outreach this month. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department is hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Massena next week for any New Yorker at least 18 years old.

The first-dose Moderna clinic, with appointments from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday, April 22, is offering about 50 slots at the St. Lawrence Centre Mall in the old TJ Maxx store, 6100 Mall Road. Second doses for those who received their first shot on March 25, are also scheduled throughout the day.

Though the state’s eligibility has expanded to anyone at least 16 years old, the county is currently only receiving doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is approved for people 18 and older.

Registration is live on the county Public Health Department website, at

Those registering for an April 22 appointment should be available for a second-dose appointment on May 20.

If slots are filled, you can fill out a contact list form — posted to the county website — to be placed on standby. The standby list helps ensure unused doses are administered to people at the end of clinic days.

Additional county-run clinics are being scheduled in Gouverneur, Massena, Ogdensburg, Canton and Star Lake as the county receives doses from the state. The clinics are circulating throughout the county to facilitate wider distribution and supplement the SUNY Potsdam state-run site.

New Yorkers can check for Maxcy Hall appointment availability at

As of Wednesday morning, roughly 40.8% of St. Lawrence County’s total 108,047 residents have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the state Department of Health. That figure represents a two percentage point increase from last week.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines require two doses for maximum effectiveness. Nearly 35,000 people living in the county have so far completed a two-dose vaccine series, the department reports.

For the north country region — grouped as Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex and Hamilton counties for COVID tracking — 39.7% of the total 418,971 population has received at least one vaccine dose. More than 129,000 people have completed a vaccine series as of Wednesday, an increase of more than 23,000 from last week.

Older adults needing assistance scheduling vaccine appointments can call the St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging at 315-386-4730.

St. Lawrence County Public Transit is offering route deviations to bring riders to COVID-19 vaccination sites. Maps and schedules are viewable at

The Public Health Department is also available to assist with registration and answer questions at 315-386-2325, or

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.