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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.

Onondaga County increasing pop-up clinics at schools

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Tom Magnarelli
/
WRVO News (file photo)

Fresh off the heels of Onondaga County’s first high school pop-up vaccination clinic, officials are saying it’s a good start.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said at least 150 students and staff received their Covid-19 vaccinations at Baldwinsville’s Baker High School on Thursday. Next week, the county plans to hold more pop-up clinics at Liverpool High School and East Syracuse Minoa High School, with the goal of getting more students aged 16 and up vaccinated with parental permission.

According to data compiled by New York state, approximately 208,000 people in Onondaga County have received at least one shot. McMahon said counting the most current vaccinations, the numbers are probably closer to 215,000-220,000 people. That’s close to 60% participation among adults.

“If we get to that 60-65% participation rate with the eligible population, really what we’re looking at is, how do we get another 5-10% to meet the standards that most of the epidemiologists suggest will get the community to herd immunity?” said McMahon.

McMahon expects the number of people going to the county’s mass vaccination clinics will decrease over the next two weeks, and that’s when health officials will really step up efforts to target specific neighborhoods with low participation rates.

“We’re going to have to, as a community, have a good understanding of what the hesitancy is and how we can message coherently as a government and as public health systems to address that hesitancy,” said McMahon.

Still, McMahon said he doesn’t believe in mandating vaccines in the county.  Although, he said that may not stop private businesses and universities from developing their own requirements.