100,000 Onondaga County residents eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Jan 12, 2021

As the number of people eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine expands in New York state, so do the number of places it’s available in central New York. But supply will dictate how many people actually get the shot.

Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution plan means people 75 and older, educators, first responders, public safety and public transit workers can get a shot now. In Onondaga County alone, that adds up to 100,000 individuals. Right now though, County Executive Ryan McMahon said there’s nowhere near that amount of vaccine available.

"We have infrastructure here that is underutilized right now, so the feds need to push the reserves out,” McMahon said. “That would help.”

This week the state is sending 3,600 doses to the county, which it expects to distribute by the end of the week. Also starting this week is a joint state-county vaccination pod at the New York State Fairgrounds.  Some pharmacies also have vaccines available now. Adding all those sites up, McMahon figures there are probably 15,000 vaccinations taking place this week.

"We all need to be very patient,” McMahon said. “As supply increases, we’re going to get to everybody.” 

The good news is all nursing homes have been able to finish the first round of vaccinations, and he believes that’s reflected in the fact that yesterday, for the first time since mid-December, there wasn’t a nursing home death reported in Onondaga County. McMahon said numbers are trending in the right direction.

"We’ve absorbed all these holiday blows pretty well, better than we thought we were going to, and at the same time, we are vaccinating more people every day, than new cases every day,” McMahon said.

Vaccinations are by appointment only. A state website and call center offers information on signing up.