TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Tompkins County Health Department is following through on its pledge to emphasize COVID-19 vaccine distribution within rural populations, with a pop-up clinic scheduled for this Saturday, April 24, at the High School Gymnasium at the Village of Groton.

Appointments are required, and area residents are encouraged to sign up for the pop-up clinic by calling 2-1-1 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. It’s unclear how many vaccination doses are being allocated for that clinic specifically, though there are 2,300 total doses being delivered to the county this week.

The majority of doses, the health department said, are being provided to anyone who is eligible (which is now anyone in New York over 16, although this week’s allocation is Moderna, which has not been approved for use by people under 18). Notifications of available appointments for those shots will be sent through the Tompkins County COVID-19 Vaccine Registry. However, there will also be some allocated for the vaccination clinic that is scheduled for this week at Cornell University, catering to those students.

“Over 50 percent of Tompkins County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.” Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said. “We all can continue to make sure our friends, family members, and neighbors have the information they need to get vaccinated—whether it’s sharing an FAQ or helping someone get on the registry. We now have our registry translated into several different languages and will continue to do everything we can to inform our community.”

The registry, though not the appointment page, has been translated into Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, Karen, and Burmese, with additional languages to be added. Translated registry pages are available from the main registry page.

“As eligibility has expanded to include residents aged 16 and older, proof of employment or attestation of a comorbidity are no longer required. All New York State residents must continue to bring proof of identity,” according to the health department. “For minors under 18, a parent or guardian is required to identify the minor. If you are not a New York resident, you must bring proof that you work or study in New York State. Individuals ages 16-18 must receive the Pfizer vaccine, as that vaccine has been authorized as safe and effective for this population, whereas other vaccines are in trials for people aged 18 and below.”

More from the Tompkins County Health Department:

Caregivers, family members, or friends can complete this registry on behalf of someone who does not have access to the Internet. Individuals without computer and/or internet access may also call 2-1-1 (877-211-8667) during regular business hours 8:30am-5:00pm and someone can register them over the phone. If indicated in the registry, individuals who do not have computer access will be called by a staff member from 2-1-1 or the County’s Office for the Aging to register for an appointment. This registry does not guarantee a vaccine appointment.

Tompkins County will continue to use the registry to communicate directly with eligible individuals when appointments are available at clinics run in partnership with Cayuga Health System. Any New York resident 16 years and older can get vaccinated at State-run sites and can find available appointments via the “Am I Eligible” tool on the State website. Some local pharmacies and doctor’s offices are also offering vaccine appointments to members of the public, though other eligibility restrictions may apply. The Tompkins County Health Department is encouraging 100% of people over 16 years old to get vaccinated when they are able.

Matt Butler

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