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Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

Health clinics across NY to be part of federal 'vaccine supercharge'


Health clinics in Syracuse, Watertown and Auburn are among 100 newly eligible sites across the state that are part of a “vaccine supercharge” from the federal government.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Thursday a huge influx of vaccines from the federal government will be part of the expansion of federally funded vaccine sites. The Syracuse Community Health Center, North Country Family Health Center in Watertown, and East Hill Family Medical in Auburn will be eligible to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to community members.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon expects the county will help the Syracuse Community Health Center in what will be an effort to target underserved and minority communities that are being left behind in the vaccination effort.

“I think we’ll partner with them. And when you look at data, our city zip codes are lagging,” McMahon said. “Certainly when you look at ethnic and different backgrounds, we still have work to do with African American and Latino community to get participation rates up. So this is welcome news."

McMahon said these new sites may be more efficient than the random pop-up clinics that have been doing this on a local level recently.

"Your pop-up clinics to date have been dependent on state supply. And this would drive more supply into facilities into the areas we haven’t reached as well, so I’m pleased with that,” he said.

There are no specifics yet about how or where the shots will be delivered through the Syracuse Community Health Center, which has three locations. The program and sites will be paid for with the almost $32 billion that was part of the last COVID relief bill that passed in December.

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.