OSWEGO — Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup and Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang recently discussed the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine locally and related vaccination clinics.
“I am happy to report that the county health department finally received enough vaccine to hold its first large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinic,” Chairman Weatherup said. “This past Saturday, the health department vaccinated 961 people at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton. The clinic was well organized and ran very smoothly. I congratulate Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang for his team’s outstanding work.”
The Oswego County Health Department was joined by staff from other county departments, volunteers, the Fulton Fire Department and the Fulton School District who all worked together to coordinate the clinic and get senior citizens, first responders, frontline health care workers and teachers vaccinated.
“I want to personally thank everyone who helped with this clinic,” Huang said. “Like all we do, it was a true team effort. We have been practicing mass vaccinations for a decade and were able to put all of that into use with the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Over the last two weeks, the Oswego County Health Department has vaccinated over 1,400 people.
“We estimate that roughly 4,000 county residents have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine either through our department or from our community health care partners in the county,” Huang said.
Vaccinations are ongoing for the frontline health care workers in the Phase 1a and 1b groups as well as for individuals 65 and older, those who are immuno-compromised, first responders, public safety officers, teachers and other school staff, in-person college instructors, childcare workers, public-facing grocery store workers, transit workers and individuals living and working in homeless shelters.
There are no restrictions on receiving the vaccine in another county if the person is eligible for it and can find an available appointment.
People can find out if they are eligible and schedule an appointment when one becomes available through New York’s website at am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov, or by calling the New York state Vaccination Hotline, 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829).
Sara Sunday, director of the Oswego County Office for the Aging, said those age 65 or older who do not have computer or internet access to schedule their own appointment, or who require assistance over the phone, may contact their office for assistance in registering and scheduling appointments on the New York state eligibility site. Call the Oswego County Office for the Aging weekdays at 315-349-3484.
There is no cost for the vaccine, but a nominal administrative fee may be charged to a person’s insurance company. This is standard practice for all vaccination clinics that distribute a vaccine which has been either state or federally funded. It helps the county recoup the expense to taxpayers. If a person does not have health insurance, then the administrative fee is not charged.
Call the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 if people have any questions. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.