TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Tompkins County residents have officially surpassed 20,000 first COVID-19 vaccination doses, according to data maintained by the New York State Department of Health.

The state’s data provides a wider scope than that published daily by the Tompkins County Health Department, which only shows doses distributed by the health department in Tompkins County. The state, though, traces each vaccination recipient by county of residence and regardless of where they actually receive the shot, which is why its numbers are much higher than TCHD’s—22,566 according to the state, compared to 13,668 according to Tompkins County.

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa has said several times that in order to achieve herd immunity in the county, there needs to be 75 percent immunization among county residents. Currently, about 22 percent of the county has received a first dose, and 9.74 percent of the county has received both doses (or 10,016 people), making them fully vaccinated.

In terms of how the county compares to its seven county counterparts in the Southern Tier Region, as defined in the NY Forward plan, Tompkins County is outpacing nearly all of them, at least in terms of first doses. Broome County is the only county with a higher percentage of its population having received at least the first dose, at 22.9 percent. Steuben County, Chemung County and Tioga County are all hovering around 14 percent first dose.

Looking at statewide percentages, Tompkins County is ahead of the pack. In New York, 18.3 percent of people have received at least the first vaccination dose, and 9.3 percent have received the second dose.

One factor that could accelerate both vaccine distribution and modify data collection is that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which was approved for administration last week, only requires a single dosage to be effective against the illness. Kruppa said he expects the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to start being delivered locally some time this week.

Matt Butler

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