ITHACA, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department has announced that it has received an allocation of 2,800 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from New York State and the regional vaccination hub, and has announced its prioritizations for the week as well.

According to the health department, there are 2,500 doses being made available to all eligible individuals, which now includes anyone over 16 years old. There are 200 doses being made available for a pop-up vaccination clinic that is being held at Lehman Alternative Community School on West Hill, and an additional 100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which will be used for homebound individuals and marginalized populations.

The LACS pop-up is being held on April 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with doses of the Moderna vaccine. People from the West End and West Hill neighborhoods are designated to receive these shots—the pop-up is aimed at people of color and “populations traditionally underserved by the healthcare system.” Those interested in scheduling an appointment at the LACS pop-up can call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment, any time from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To further serve that population, REACH Medical and TCHD organized a vaccination clinic at Southside Community Center on April 5, where 30 doses of the Johnson & Johnson were administered. Another 20 vaccines will be administered by REACH to members of the Southside community throughout this week.

“It’s our goal to ensure access to compassionate healthcare to everyone in our community, regardless of their situation or background,” said Samantha Stevenson, director of operations at The REACH Project. “We’ve worked hard over the past few months to get vaccines to some of the most vulnerable people in the City of Ithaca. The clinic at Southside Community Center was an honor for us and different from our other vaccine clinics thus far.”

New York residents must continue to bring proof of identity when receiving their vaccine (those who are not residents must bring proof they either work or study in New York), but no longer have to show proof of employment or self-attestation of a comorbidity. Those under 18 must have a parent or guardian accompany them to the vaccine appointment. People who are between 16-18 must receive the Pfizer vaccine, as it is the only one approved for that age group so far. They will only receive notifications of Pfizer availability from the county registry.

“We’re close to half of our population having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and while we’ve been successful so far, we need to continue to get every eligible individual registered and vaccinated,” Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said. “One thing we can all do is make sure our friends, family members, and neighbors have the information that they need to get vaccinated – whether it’s sharing an FAQ or helping someone get on the registry, we can all continue to do our part to keep one another healthy and safe.” 

People can sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Registry now, and more information on elsewhere to find vaccine appointments is available here.

Matt Butler

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