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Franklin County expects ‘limited supply’ of COVID vaccine by month’s end | Local


MALONE — Franklin County Public Health has had an uptick in resident calls regarding Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and its shipments to the North Country, but said Wednesday afternoon that it did not know exactly when or how many doses were going to Franklin County. 

“The exact number of doses and the exact timing is being communicated directly to the people who need to know that information, not necessarily to everyone in the general public,” Program Coordinator Erin Streiff told the Press-Republican Wednesday, adding that hospitals and nursing homes would receive the vaccine first. 

REGIONAL SUPPLY

Since receiving emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last Friday, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been making the rounds. 

It was recently announced that 170,000 doses were being shipped to the Empire State, 3,700 of which were assigned to the North Country. 

As previously reported by the Press-Republican, the University of Vermont Health Network, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) expected to receive 950 doses this week and started in-house vaccinations on Tuesday. 

Some of the hospital’s doses were to be shared with other upstate hospitals, but those specifics were confidential. 

BY MONTH’S END

Franklin County Public Health issued a “Frequently Asked Questions” public notice Wednesday morning in response to the community’s interest in the vaccine.

“We’ve had a number of inquiries about when people can get vaccinated,” Streiff said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a time frame for that. As soon as we know, we will share that.” 

The public notice said Franklin County was expecting a limited vaccine supply sometime this month and noted that availability would likely increase in the weeks and months to follow. 

“We will inform county residents as we receive notification of vaccine distribution,” it says, adding that the vaccine would be distributed to area hospitals, pharmacies, provider offices and to Franklin County Public Health.

WHO’S UP?

One common question to the department was: Who will receive the vaccine first?

To answer it, Franklin County Public Health included a table featured in the New York State COVID Vaccination Program Book that demonstrates the five phases.

“At first, doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be limited and will be distributed in phases,” the public notice says. “The first doses of the much anticipated vaccine are expected to arrive soon in our region and healthcare workers, as well as nursing home staff and residents will be among the first to receive them.”

Phase Two of the state’s plan would focus on vaccinating first responders, school staff, public health workers, frontline workers, those with high-risk and more, the table shows.

Phases three and four were expected to weave in individuals 65-plus years old and all other essential workers, while Phase Five would finish off with healthy adults and children. 

DISTRIBUTION UNKNOWN

Franklin County Public Health did not know what vaccine distribution would look like at that point.

“If it will be mass vaccination clinics or if it will be done more with hospitals and pharmacies — there is a lot still up in the air,” Streiff said. “I think it will be a combination.”

She did say, however, that counties were making plans for sites to become “distribution centers,” for, “if and when the vaccine becomes available in that way.”

‘CONTINUE SAFETY MEASURES’

What should the community do while they await vaccination? Franklin County Public Health urges the community stick to COVID safety protocols. 

“It is strongly recommended that county residents continue to follow all of the safety measures that have been in place since March — wear face coverings, distance by six feet or more, wash hands often and disinfect frequently touched surfaces,” the…



Read More: Franklin County expects ‘limited supply’ of COVID vaccine by month’s end | Local

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