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Onondaga County to launch pre-registration system for seniors wanting COVID-19 vaccine

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)

Onondaga County will launch a new online registration system Thursday for seniors to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list.

It’s called ONList, a waiting list that allows Kinney Drugs to randomly select individuals to get a shot, when the scarce COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

John Marraffa of Kinney Drugs said the mad computer dash to sign up for shots has been stressful for many.

"We’re seeing the challenges in our phone lines, our pharmacies. We understand there are certain populations of seniors that cannot maneuver the online functionality of registering for an appointment, or searching for an appointment,” Marraffa said. “So we thought this was a great opportunity to help with the equitable distribution of the vaccine.”

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said ONList will go live at noon Thursday, and will accept 10,000 pre-registrations.

"At least our seniors will know they’re on a list,” McMahon said. “And each week as vaccine comes in, they know there is a partner who will pull from that list, and nothing precludes them from trying to go through traditional processes if new appointments become available either.”

McMahon said the county will also draw from the list for its PODS, or points of distribution, and hopes the state does too, for its vaccination sit at the state fairgrounds.

"We think it’s a solution to a complicated problem,” he said. “We think the number to start out with is 10,000.  The reasoning behind that, we don’t want to start out with a super large number. 10,000 is a big number anyways, because we want expectations that this will flow. That people will see progress.”

Aside from ONList, registration for two other clinics will also open up at noon Thursday. Onondaga County will hold a clinic on Friday, with 1,000 vaccinations available. Kinney Drugs will hold a clinic on Sunday, with 993 shots.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.