ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY — Because they have used up all the coronavirus vaccine doses they received, County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert and the Rockland County Department of Health is halting vaccinations temporarily.
The Rockland health department received 1,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday and had administered every one by the close of business Friday, health officials said Sunday afternoon.
“We train every year to perform mass vaccinations and have significant experience to draw upon after the measles outbreak of 2018-2019," said Dr. Ruppert. "Our results show that we’re able to get this vaccine into people’s arms safely and efficiently but without additional vaccine these efforts must be put on hold."
They put in an order for more on Wednesday.
When they get more doses of the vaccine, the Rockland County Department of Health will resume vaccinations at their location in Pomona. Since supply availability changes frequently, the state’s Am I Eligible webpage provides other vaccination site options.
New York announced Friday it was expanding the people eligible to receive the vaccine. Added to healthcare workers now are people over 74 — that is, people who are 75 and older — and essential workers including teachers, police, firefighters and public transit workers.
However, because the federal government is only shipping 300,000 doses a week to the state, it may be months before all 3 million people in that category are vaccinated. SEE: NY Vaccine Eligibility Pool To Expand, Reservations Taken.
Supply remains a challenge, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
From now on, weekly vaccine allocations will be distributed across the state depending on the percentage of, for example, firefighters or police in that region, with a focus on fair and equitable distribution, Cuomo said.
To reach herd immunity, 70 percent to 90 percent of individuals need to be vaccinated, with a total of 14 million vaccines needed, he said. At the current rate, it would take 47 weeks to vaccinate everyone in New York, he said.
With hospitals not moving as quickly as expected to vaccinate their staff, beginning on Monday, the state will add new distribution networks to supplement hospitals. "We are recruiting and organizing thousands of new providers now," he said. The vaccinations will now be distributed at private physicians' offices, through county health centers, urgent care offices, and through the pharmacy network, with 1,200 pharmacies already committed and ramping up next week, Cuomo said. Hospitals will also still be utilized.
The goals remain: Slow the spread, increase the vaccine supply, get the vaccine into people's arms, Cuomo said.
Details on how to make reservations will be released soon.
After you register and prior to receiving the vaccination, you must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form.
This form can be completed online and you will receive a submission ID, or you can fill out the form at your vaccination site.
Anyone being vaccinated must bring proof of eligibility to the vaccination site. This may include a State or Federal ID, an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on the specific priority status.
Editor's note: This article has been modified for clarity.