TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Tompkins County has received another 1,100 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine after weather postponed the delivery for one week. Whether or not more will arrive is unclear—the county said they are awaiting clarification from the state about whether there will be an additional allocation for this week.

Of the 1,100 currently available, according to the department, there are 300 shots designated for those with comorbidities (though those over 65 are still being prioritized), 600 for anyone eligible under Phase 1B and 200 for healthcare workers who are eligible under Phase 1A. The grocery and healthcare workers who were slated to receive a vaccine last week before the state had to delay the delivery will have their appointments held at a clinic on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the vaccination site at Ithaca Mall—though they are being scheduled/notified privately.

Other plans that were in place last week will be maintained: “Doses will be prioritized for individuals with underlying medical conditions (comorbidities). The Health Department will work directly with Titus Towers and McGraw House that serve older adults with limited income.” TCHD is working with Titus and McGraw leadership to register residents, with the remaining doses offered to P-12 school workers, who will be sent the registration link directly through employees or associations.

“We are pleased to receive the allocation from last week,” said Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. “We are locally prioritizing grocery workers, P-12 school workers, and adults who are age 65 and older with underlying medical conditions, all of whom are eligible. Due to the limited amount of vaccine, we are not opening the registration links to the public. We will continue to communicate directly with the eligible populations until we receive a larger supply of vaccine that can better meet the demand in our community.”

TCHD is encouraging those 65 and older to check with local pharmacies and the state-run vaccination sites. You can find more information about the State vaccination sites, and links to the pharmacy websites, on the TCHD website.

A comprehensive list of eligible priority populations can be found on the TCHD website. There has also been a collaboration established with 211, which has partnered with TCHD to help disburse information about the COVID-19 vaccine (dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-8667 from any phone). This includes general information and current eligibility requirements but not vaccination appointments.

Prioritized eligible populations include:

  • P-12 Schools

o P-12 school (public or non-public) or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, and support staff including bus drivers)

o Contractors working in a P-12 school (public or non-public) or school district (including contracted bus drivers)

  • Grocery Stores
    • Public Facing Grocery Store Workers, including convenience stores and bodegas
  • Adults age 65 and older with comorbidities
    • A list of eligible comorbidities and underlying conditions can be found on the Health Department website.

The recording of the most recent COVID-19 Community Town Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 17 can be viewed on the Tompkins County YouTube page.

A series of virtual “Office Hours” with local medical providers are being held to answer questions and address concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. Find out more and register for upcoming sessions on the Health Department website.

Matt Butler

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