TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department announced Wednesday that over 41,000 county residents have now received their COVID-19 booster shot as the effort to fully vaccinate locals continues.

Additionally, the health department states that “over 83,000 people have received their first dose of vaccine or single-dose Johnson & Johnson, and over 75,500 have received at least two doses of their initial series.”

“We are pleased to continue to lead as a county with high vaccine uptake, with over 41,000 residents boosted,” Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated. “Over the past month alone, TCHD has boosted close to 2,000 adults and 450 youth. We know that the vaccine booster has played a significant role in reducing severity of illness, hospitalizations and death as our county faced a surge in positive cases following the arrival of the Omicron variant.”

Demand for certain COVID-19-related supplies is obviously still high locally, as the Tompkins County Public Library’s free test giveaway Tuesday was cut short after they ran out of supply.

Kruppa continued his remarks, which came in the wake of a largely uneventful update to the Tompkins County Legislature Tuesday night, by urging everyone eligible and able to receive the vaccine and the subsequent booster shot.

From the health department: “The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Booster is available for everyone ages 18+, who received their initial two-dose vaccine series at least five months ago (or at least two months ago for single-dose vaccine). The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster is available for everyone ages 12+ who received their initial two-dose vaccine series at least five months ago (or at least two months ago for single-dose vaccine). For more information about the Pfizer vaccine for the youth population, refer to the TCHD website and CDC website.”

Those interested can sign up for the TCHD’s mailing list to be notified of upcoming clinics, or simply check the pages of your friendly neighborhood online non-profit news organization. Free transportation is available by calling 2-1-1 (1-877-211-8667).

Kids from 5-11 are not eligible for booster doses yet, and while kids under 5 have not been eligible for any COVID vaccine yet, Pfizer has asked the FDA this week to provide emergency use authorization that would open up availability to that group.

Join our mailing list to receive notification via email of our next upcoming clinics, which will also be updated on our webpage. Local municipalities, schools and organizations can still “Request a Clinic” in your location by completing our online form.

Matt Butler

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