TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The COVID-19 vaccine is on its way, slowly but surely, although its rollout has been marred with confusing instructions and doses potentially expiring before they are administered.

In an attempt to clarify some of the murkiness that has been created at the New York State and federal level, Tompkins County and Cayuga Health System officials will hold a town hall event on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 4 p.m. regarding vaccination distribution and hopefully clear up any confusion that has resulted from the vaccine introduction, at least as much as is possible from a local level. The session will include Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa and Cayuga Health Systems CEO Dr. Martin Stallone.

The town hall can be streamed or viewed afterward at this link.

“This COVID-19 Town Hall will be an opportunity to for the County, Health Department and Cayuga Health System to share information on vaccine distribution in Tompkins County, as well as updates on the continued increase in cases and updated guidance on how to help stop the spread,” said Communications Director Dominick Recckio. He said they have already received many questions from the public that largely deal with the vaccination phase schedule and when different populations will be eligible, which he said would be a primary topic of the info session.

“In the town hall we plan to go into as much detail as we can on the phases of distribution and the process for receiving vaccines,” he said. “As the information changes quite regularly, folks can bookmark our vaccine web page (https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19vaccine) to keep up to date on FAQs, who is currently eligible, and new information as it becomes available. We’re working closely with Cayuga Health Systems on keeping this information up to date.”

The state has been gradually updating the eligibility criteria for those who can currently receive the vaccination. More information on that can be found here. You can also check your own eligibility through a New York State site.

“As the vaccine becomes available, we’re encouraging the public to remember that we’re all in this together and one important part that everyone can play is helping to inform their neighbors and community about the vaccine, its safety and efficacy, and information about distribution in Tompkins County,” Recckio said.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com