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Two-thirds of eligible Onondaga County residents could be vaccinated by end of week

WRVO Public Media

Officials say by the end of this week, two-thirds of eligible Onondaga County residents will have been vaccinated against COVID-19. That could mean a shift in the county's vaccination strategy.

Business at Onondaga County’s vaccine clinic at the Oncenter has slowed down. On Monday, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said 600 people got a shot, compared to 1,800 a day earlier in the process. The county is looking for different ways to get shots in arms of some of the more hard-to-reach populations.

"We’ll probably have walk-up clinics in a couple of weeks here,” McMahon said. “We’ll work with credible messengers again, use reverse 911 to say just come by and get a shot. We may have people in the streets recruiting people to get shots."

The county will also expand its focus from the city, towards the suburbs, and especially rural communities where vaccine hesitancy can be widespread. It’s also continuing clinics at local schools to get older teens vaccinated. Ultimately, McMahon sees getting enough people vaccinated to put the virus on the defense, is a distinct possibility in the not-too-distant future.

"The good number that I look at is your eligible population,” McMahon said. “At the end of the week, I think we’ll be at 64%. So I think if we get the 12- to 15-year-olds at the end of the month eligible, via the Pfizer vaccine from the FDA, I think we’ll get to that 70% with that demographic."

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.