COVID-19 Vaccine Updates (June)

covid-child-vaccine

Vaccinated Ulster County resident tests positive for the Delta variant

■ An Ulster resident who had been vaccinated tested positive for the Delta strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, said County Executive Pat Ryan on Monday (June 28). The Delta strain, first identified in India, has been designated a “variant of concern” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because it spreads more easily and quickly, and causes more severe illness. The resident has recovered and being vaccinated “likely spared them from the worst  impacts of the variant,” said Ryan.

■ Putnam County has launched “Make Your COVID Shot Count!” a campaign to get a more accurate tally of residents who have been vaccinated by counting those who received shots out-of-state or through the Veterans Administration. Residents who get vaccinated outside New York or by the VA are not automatically reported to the state, said the county on Friday (June 25). Residents can call the Putnam Health Department at 845-808-1390 or email [email protected]. Proof of vaccination is required. 

Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County

About 60 members of Dutchess County’s Medical Reserve Corps attended a memorial service on June 21 for Kyong-sook Yun, a retired nurse and volunteer vaccinator who died unexpectedly on June 18. County Executive Marc Molinaro ordered flags at county facilities to be flown at half-staff in her honor. “Her personality quickly gained her friends among her fellow MRC volunteers, and she contributed to keeping Dutchess County safe and healthy,” he said.

■ Beacon’s Recreation Department is requiring that anyone wanting to use its public pool at the Settlement Camp sign up for an account, provide proof of vaccination if eligible for the shots and reserve, in advance, a slot for one of multiple two-hour swim sessions that will be available. No walk-up paid admission will be accepted. The city hopes to open the pool the weekend of July 4.

vaccination-rates■ Nearly 60 percent of females in Dutchess County, 59.4 percent, had received at least one vaccine dose compared to 51.4 percent of males as of Sunday (June 13). The same gender gap exists in Putnam County, where 61.3 percent of females had received at least one shot and 55.5 percent males. Statewide, as of Sunday, the gap was 4.5 percentage points, 57.1 percent of females versus 52.6 percent of males.

■ NewYork-Presbyterian, whose system includes Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortlandt Manor and a medical group in Cold Spring, notified staff on June 11 that they will have to be vaccinated with at least their initial shot by Sept. 1 to remain employed. The mandate also applies to volunteers and vendors, and will be required of new hires. Employees who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons, or because they are pregnant, have until Aug. 1 to apply for an exemption, the hospital system said in a memo signed by Steven Corwin, its president and CEO, and Laura Forese, its chief operating officer. Corwin and Forese described inoculation as “the most important and responsible action we can take as NYP team members for the safety and well-being of our patients and visitors, our communities and ourselves.”

■ The state’s mass-vaccination site at the Ulster County Fairgrounds will begin transitioning to a mobile clinic at SUNY Ulster, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday (June 8). New appointments and walk-ins for first doses will be available at SUNY Ulster starting on Wednesday (June 9). The fairgrounds will continue to honor existing appointments for second doses and accept walk-ins for the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine until June 29, when it will close, said Cuomo.

■ Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday (June 7) that “most” pandemic restrictions will be lifted when 70 percent of the state’s adults have received at least one vaccine shot. As of Monday, 66.3 percent of residents 18 and older had done so. Current guidelines governing capacity limits, social distancing, disinfecting, health screening and contact tracing will become optional for businesses once that threshold is reach, said Cuomo. Restrictions will remain for large-scale event venues, K-12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes and healthcare settings until more people are vaccinated, he said.

■ Citing a nearly 90 percent decrease in demand for testing since January, the state began closing its 19 drive-thru sites beginning June 11.

■ New York residents who get vaccinated at SUNY Orange in Middletown, the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz or one of eight other state-run clinics next will get a free $20 scratch-off lottery ticket and a chance to win a $5 million grand prize under the state’s “Vax and Scratch” program. Tickets will be given away from Monday (June 7) to Friday (June 11), with recipients also getting a chance to win other prizes ranging from $20 to $50,000.

■ Putnam County is holding a vaccination clinic on Thursday (June 3) for people 18 years old and up at the Philipstown Recreation Center. The county will be administering the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine during the clinic, which runs from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made here. Walk-ins are welcome.

■ The state announced on June 2 and June 9 the first 20 winners of its “Get a Shot to Make Your Future” contest, which is offering up to 50 four-year scholarships at state public colleges and universities to residents between 12 and 17 years old who get vaccinated by July 7. The scholarships cover tuition, room and board. The names of the winners can be found here. (There have been none from the Highlands.) Parents or legal guardians who want to enter their child in the contest can register here. The deadline is June 28.

Click here for earlier entries.

12 thoughts on “COVID-19 Vaccine Updates (June)

  1. Our county executive is correct in pointing out that seniors are increasingly feeling overlooked in priority in the vaccine rollout. The fact is that they are being overlooked. The Putnam County Health Department states that it is constrained in being limited to providing vaccine only to essential workers, yet the Dutchess County website announces locations in area schools and health centers that were not restricting access.

    It would be important to explain why Putnam County cannot do same. I have noticed that there were no posts on Putnam County websites between Jan. 28 and Feb 4. In a time of crisis, this is inexcusable. Regardless of any constraints on their ability to deliver all needed doses, the county executive and Department of Health would still be able to alleviate some of the distress: I recommend that they begin posting daily on their websites and provide there whatever information they have about vaccine availability in area drug stores or medical practices — the only vaccination locations available to area seniors.

    Currently, it is only possible to find such information by relentless tracking of area newspapers, Facebook and neighborhood news blogs. County IT staff, e.g. tourism, which is not too busy these days, should be able to log on to similar sites and share the info on county and Department of Health sites. For many seniors, accessing social media sites is not accessible, and we shouldn’t expect them to do so. A central source of reliable information is essential. I have noticed that other county health departments have provided such information for their residents, e.g., Dutchess, even Greene, which provides a registration form online which not only eases the vaccination process, but also facilitates health department outreach when vaccine is available.

    Without similar facilitation, our seniors are being left to their own, often adequate devices. I am sure would agree that, in times of crisis, the lack of information can be as crippling as the threat itself.

  2. I got the shot!

    I heard Cuomo say that residents age 65 could get the shot and I jumped on the computer. A nightmare. Figuring there would be more shots in New York City, I tried Manhattan and Queens. “You got a spot!” No, you didn’t. Filled out another form. “You got a spot!” No, already taken.

    I decided to wait a few days and try the state website. I put in the Cold Spring ZIP code. Drug World was listed, so I went to its site.

    They had a sign-up list! Imagine. Impressive. A small operation with smarter managerial chops than much bigger players. Then, a day or so later, I got an email saying that the sign-up site would go live in two hours. “Since you are on the list, here is the link.” Bam! Got an appointment.

    The setup at St. Mary’s church was great, with lots of cheery volunteers who all laughed at my silly jokes and stories. It was organized and efficient. Got the shot and was placed on the list to come back in four weeks.

    The moral of this story: Can’t the providers start making lists, maybe by county? Notify those on the list when spaces open, give them time to decide. If they don’t take the spot, give the slot to the next person on the list.

    Maybe President Biden should hire the Drug World folks.

  3. I’m not making this up. Welcome to Bumpkin Country. Yesterday my neighbor stopped me as I was leaving for an appointment to notify me that Shoprite on Route 52 was distributing vaccines and that she had received only by word of mouth that that was the site. She immediately went at 9 a.m., signed and was vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. Did anyone know officially that Shoprite was a site? Here is one better: I went to Rite-Aid on Route 6 in Carmel and was told they had the vaccine only for those who were vaccinated in January. By the way, I had applied and the state had given me a number with the advice to show it to the COVID-19 healthcare provider. Who the hell is in charge?

  4. Both the Putnam County executive and health department and legislature could do a better job at telling seniors how to access the available vaccine slots they report. We don’t need any more reporting about what they have already achieved. We want to stay alive.

  5. I agree with state Sen. Sue Serino and her leadership calls for answers in the delay of COVID-19 vaccines. I thought a petition would help and ask you to join me in supporting efforts to expedite overdue vaccines.

    Along with many others, I went on the Drug World website to volunteer for the Jan. 15 vaccine clinic. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. More than 30 people have volunteered and the community-driven clinic has given 637 first doses and 215 second doses through the nine clinics held. These vaccines went to persons 65 and older. The clinic was a case study in how to do this public provision effectively.

    Alas, it’s a shame that there is an unstable pipeline of vaccine available. We have had to cancel at least three clinics and have halted operations when we could have doubled the number of vaccines distributed. Failing to distribute vaccine is not an option, as we are serving the most vulnerable demographic: our senior citizens. If leaders at the top would expedite supply, we could reopen and protect our community.

    I cannot sit idle and watch this continue, and plan to present federal, state and local leaders with a petition to release as much vaccine as needed as expeditiously as possible. We cannot afford delay or the loss of one more life due to COVID-19. This effort has demonstrated we are better together. Please sign the petition at change.org/p/27450199.

    We need to collectively focus on the need for a supply of vaccines for Putnam and our citizens.

    Scuccimarra is a former Putnam County legislator.

  6. Putnam County and all its elected officials are aware of all the issues. There is a weekly county call that all local officials are invited to. Questions are answered and information is provided and passed on to the public. The Putnam County Health Department, and especially the public health nurses, are doing a first-rate job.

    The vaccine pods throughout the county, including the Philipstown Recreation Center, are professional and organized. Vaccines come from the federal government to the state and on to the counties. Our Health Department and the county executive are advocating for Putnam every day. Anyone who thinks that every effort is not being made to secure vaccine doses is wrong.

    Shea is the Philipstown supervisor.

  7. Can someone tell me why it was necessary to conduct a poll, and further to report that poll in The Current, saying that more than 4 in 10 Republicans would choose not to be vaccinated? Isn’t this country divided enough? Gee, won’t someone’s nose get bent out of shape because the poll was based on female and male genders? Oh, and let’s step it up another level and see where we are along racial lines.

    In the words of Clark Gable from a classic film that the “woke” citizenry would never watch: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

    • The national poll we cited, which was conducted in early March by the Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, found that 25 percent of Black people and 28 percent of white people do not plan to get the vaccine. Thirty-four percent of men and 26 percent of women said the same.

  8. The links you gave for Putnam and Dutchess only give the countywide information for vaccinations (unless it is hidden somewhere, in which case I’d appreciate your help in finding it). These county dashboards only break down town by town information for active cases, I was asking about vaccinations. Please let me know where to find this info since you indicated in your answer that it is available. Thank you so much.

    • My mistake, I was thinking of the active cases. We have asked for breakdown on vaccinations by ZIP code but both counties say that data is not available.