Photo credit: Brian K. Austin
Caption: Registered nurse Jill Sussman draws a vaccine into the syringe for her next patient. So far the health department has vaccinated over 1,100 residents and those who work in Putnam County.
- 200 vaccines released to PCDOH from NYS January 19
- 202 first doses administered on January 21 at a fourth closed POD, for targeted populations in 1b. Recipients of vaccine at PCDOH PODs are identified according to specific NYSDOH guidance
- Groups and date for next clinic to be announced when vaccine shipment and guidelines are released from NYS
The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) held its fourth closed point-of-dispensing clinic, known as a “POD” clinic, and administered 202 vaccines to eligible Putnam residents and others who work in the County, as phase 1b continued. Limited state vaccine supplies resulted in the health department receiving a smaller allotment this time. For the three previous clinics 300 doses were shipped to the local Putnam health department. This brings the total of COVID vaccinations administered by the health department to over 1,100.
The health department typically receives notification of vaccine shipments, and then plans and administers vaccinations within a 48-hour time frame. Rigid state guidelines are issued with each separate vaccine shipment and must be closely followed to ensure future shipments.
Many questions are being asked and the health department has issued an alert which follows below to address the most frequently asked ones. Additionally residents are encouraged to call “211” for questions related to vaccine availability, or the NYS vaccine hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
The health department expects additional doses for a future clinic soon, however none are scheduled at this time. Scheduling changes quickly. PODs may still be announced for next week. When a County POD is scheduled, a link will be sent directly to specific organizations or shared on the health department website as appropriate.
Vaccine also may be available from a NYS-run clinic, where all currently eligible New York residents can get vaccinated, unlike local health departments which follow specific state-issued guidelines for their populations. The NYS phased distribution and eligible groups are described here: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine .
FAQs, January 22, 2021
I’m eligible for the COVID vaccine. What’s next?
If you’re eligible for a vaccine, please be patient as you may not be able to be vaccinated right away. Vaccine supply at the local level is limited by what is distributed by New York State (NYS), which is limited by what is distributed to the state by the Federal government. NYS has set up a network of ‘retail’ providers to administer vaccine to eligible populations. The network is made up of hospitals, pharmacies, the NYS Department of Health and local health departments, and other healthcare providers. Each provider in the network is responsible for announcing and scheduling their own clinics. For an appointment with a healthcare provider, pharmacy or hospital, please check directly with your preferred provider.
Putnam County Department of Health clinics are scheduled and announced weekly as availability is determined. Announcements can be found on our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/coronavirus or social media sites @PutnamHealthNY. Registration links will be emailed for closed clinics or posted on the website for open clinics, depending on NYSDOH instructions.
Appointments for the clinics run by NYS Department of Health can be found at https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
Check back often if your preferred site has no appointments as availability can change.
If you visit a location without an appointment, you will not receive a vaccine.
Will I still need to quarantine after I’ve been vaccinated if I am identified as a contact?
Yes. Although the vaccine is safe and effective from keeping you from becoming ill, scientists do not yet know if a vaccinated person can spread COVID-19 while asymptomatic. If the CDC updates guidance regarding quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated individuals, PCDOH will share that information.
Where do the vaccines come from?
Vaccines are distributed by the Federal government to the states, and then the states distribute them how they see fit. Moderna and Pfizer are the two vaccines that currently have Emergency Use Authorization for use in the United States. Both companies are based in the United States.
What should I do if I get a sooner appointment?
If you secured multiple appointments for your first dose, please make sure to cancel the later appointment so that someone else can be vaccinated. NYS requires providers to schedule your second dose with the same provider when you receive your first dose.
How do I make an appointment for my second dose?
At most providers, your second dose will be scheduled at the time of your first. If you are vaccinated at a PCDOH clinics, you will be given a vaccination card with the date of your second does. They you will be sent an email reminder with a special link to complete mandatory registration for your second dose. There is no need to contact the health department.
When will I be eligible for the vaccine?
As of January 20, individuals in Phases 1a and 1b are eligible for vaccination. Phase 1a includes healthcare workers. Phase 1b includes those 65 years and older, first responders, teachers, and other frontline workers. A complete list can be found at: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine. You can also check your eligibility at https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.
What is the cost of the vaccine?
The vaccine is free to all New Yorkers.
I already had COVID, do I still need a vaccine?
Yes. Vaccination should be delayed until an infected individual has recovered from the acute illness and has completed their isolation period. The CDC suggests that reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, therefore an individual may choose to delay vaccination until the end of their presumed immunity after initial infection.
What side effects should I expect from the vaccine?
Whenever you receive a vaccine, your body produces an immune response that can vary from a sore arm to feeling unwell for a few days. Generally, you can expect a sore arm or swelling where you received the vaccine. Other side effects include fever, chills, tiredness, or a headache. For more information about possible vaccine side effects, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html
Do I still need to wear a mask after I’m vaccinated?
Yes. The vaccine is safe and effective. Research is ongoing to help determine how effective the current vaccines are in preventing a fully vaccinated, asymptomatic individual from spreading COVID-19 to others.
Will I need a booster dose or annual COVID-19 vaccination?
According to the CDC, the need for and timing of booster doses for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines has not been established. No additional doses beyond the two-dose primary series are recommended at this time.
Can I catch COVID from the vaccine?
No. The vaccines approved for use in the United States do not use a live virus. The two currently available vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, have been developed using mRNA technology.
Are mRNA vaccines safe? How are they made?
mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine based on technology that has been used and studied for decades. For an easy-to-understand explanation of how mRNA vaccines work, please visit here.
How can I find information about vaccine availability?
Residents are encouraged to call “211” for COVID questions related to vaccine availability, or the NYS vaccine hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. Feel free to contact our Public Information Officer Shanna Siegel with any questions at 845-656-4905.