WATERTOWN – New York State and the rest of the nation are advancing in the Herculean task of vaccinating millions of people in an attempt to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, more than 15.4 million New York state residents are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine – a process that could take months.
Here’s what we know about how to sign up to receive a dose of the vaccine. We will continue to update this story regularly, as details and distribution information change regularly.
We also want to hear about your experience in signing up and receiving a vaccine. Send us your thoughts at [email protected].
(Last update: January 15, 5:30 p.m.)
Q: Are there some places where I can get a walk-in vaccine?
Q: Who is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: People eligible to receive the vaccine are people aged 65 and over; first responders and support staff from first responder organizations (including police, firefighters, EMS and corrections); public security communications (dispatchers and technicians); County court bailiff; all K-12 staff (including teachers, substitute teachers, prospective teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, support staff, contractors working in schools); in-person college instructors; employees of grocery stores facing the public; public transport; and people living or working in a homeless shelter where to sleep, bathe or eat should be shared.
Q: Where can I get the vaccine if I am …?
A: See the next section for where to register for appointments at these locations …
Kindergarten to 12th grade teacher:
BOCES officials in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties say they are working with school districts and county public health departments to organize vaccination clinics specifically for teachers. Superintendents at each school should be able to confirm whether they are making a plan to organize a special immunization clinic. Alternatively, people in this group can sign up to be vaccinated at a county clinic or at the SUNY Potsdam state-run site.
First responders can be vaccinated at any vaccination clinic in the county or at the SUNY Potsdam state-run site. The state is also encouraging companies, unions or other groups of these appointments to work with county health departments to set up their own dedicated vaccination clinics, but it is not clear whether any are coordinated in. our region.
People aged 65 and over:
Anyone over 65 can register for a vaccine at almost any location. Pharmacists currently accept appointments exclusively for people aged 65 and over. You can search for these providers using the state search tool, but most providers have their own registration web page. These populations can also register for meetings on the public site of SUNY Potsdam.
Health professional in contact with the public in a high-risk environment:
High-risk medical personnel facing the public have been able to receive COVID-19 vaccines through their respective hospital systems for several weeks. The state has advised hospitals to continue with vaccinations of their own staff who wish.
Resident or staff member of a long-term care facility:
Residents and staff in long-term care facilities, primarily nursing homes, receive vaccines as part of a federal program facilitated by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first of these have already been carried out in our regions and will continue to be supervised by each establishment in coordination with pharmacists.
Q: It is indicated that all available appointments are filled. When will they be open again?
A: Several county officials have said they expect to receive more doses of the vaccine each week and will open up time slots for new appointments matching those deliveries for their clinics.
Pharmacy providers, primarily Kinney in the tri-county area, have an email notification system where those who are eligible will receive an email when other appointments are open. You can sign up for these alerts here: secure.kinneydrugs.com/pharmacy/covid-19/covid-19-vaccinations/email-sign-up.
It’s unclear how often the state site at SUNY Potsdam will open to sign up for new dates.
Q: Where do I register to make an appointment for the vaccine at each location?
A: Here are the answers by county …
SUNY Potsdam State Vaccination Site: State registrations are available on its online portal – am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov – or by calling the hotline at 833-697-4829.
Jefferson County Clinics: When open, Jefferson County vaccination clinics will be available for appointments through the Public Health Department website – co.jefferson.ny.us/departments/PublicHealth/COVID-19Vaccine-C19VAC. The county may open a hotline in the future, but does not currently have one.
Lewis County Clinics: When open, Lewis County vaccination clinics will be available for appointments through the Department of Public Health website – lewiscounty.org/departments/public-health/vaccine.
St. Lawrence County Clinics: St. Lawrence County has not provided details on how it will register for immunization clinics when they take place.
Kinney Drugs: Kinney Drugs has an open portal to register for a vaccination appointment when it is open at secure.kinneydrugs.com/pharmacy/covid-19/vaccination-scheduling/ny.
Q: Do I have to make a second appointment for my second dose?
A: No, all facilities will schedule your second dose when you receive the first.