Health Department Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Administration Updates

The Tompkins County Health Department is announcing three COVID-19 vaccination clinics for those currently eligible to receive the vaccine. Healthcare workers and other eligible individuals in Phase 1A (detailed below) can register for clinics at the Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Road, on January 6th-8th, and can register by visiting the Tompkins County Health Department’s vaccination web page. 1,800 vaccine doses are being distributed through this week’s clinics. Eligibility will continue to expand as more vaccine becomes available and the department’s vaccination web page will continue to be updated as new phases begin.

All individuals currently eligible are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “We are ready to start rolling this vaccine out to thousands of Tompkins County residents. While the process for developing these vaccines may seem fast, a significant and thorough scientific review was instituted following years of research on coronaviruses, and the Public Health community is confident that this vaccine is safe and effective.” Kruppa continued, “Since the beginning of the pandemic we’ve used every tool in our toolkit to stop the spread, this is one of the most crucial to keep you, your family, and our community healthy and safe – if you are eligible and medically able, we need you to register and get vaccinated.”

“I want to ease any concerns people may have that they are going to miss their vaccine or that they are not on a list of who needs the vaccine. We all need the vaccine, but there is an intentional phased distribution that the State has set up. We will do everything we can to make sure you know when it is your time to get vaccinated, but we ask that everyone be patient and continue to check our website and local media for updates,” reassured Kruppa.

Individuals should only register if they meet the current eligibility criteria listed below and on the Tompkins County Health Department website. There are a limited number of appointment slots available, and they may fill up quickly. TCHD is encouraging people who are eligible to register; if slots fill up, more will be opened in coming weeks to continue distribution to eligible populations.

Phase 1A eligibility (ongoing):

  • High-risk hospital staff, affiliates, volunteers and contract staff, following the clinical risk assessment guidance
  • High-risk hospital staff including State-operated OMH psychiatric centers
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Personnel
  • Medical Examiners and Coroners
  • Funeral workers who have direct contact with infectious material and bodily fluids
  • Agency staff and residents in congregate living situations run by the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS).
  • Health care or other high-risk direct care essential staff working in LTCFs and long-term, congregate settings overseen by OPWDD, OMH and OASAS
  • Persons living in LTCFs and in long-term congregate settings overseen by OPWDD and OMH
  • High-risk hospital and FQHC staff, including OMH psychiatric centers
  • Urgent Care providers
  • Any staff administering COVID-19 Vaccinations

Phase 1A Eligibility Beginning Week of 1/4/2021:

  • All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff in a position in which they have direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff), will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
    • This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who work in private medical practices; hospital-affiliated medical practices; public health clinics; specialty medical practices of all types; dental practices of all types; dialysis workers; diagnostic and treatment centers; occupational therapists; physical therapists; speech therapists; phlebotomists; behavioral health workers; and student health workers.
  • All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, handling COVID-19 specimens and COVID-19 vaccinations, will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Home care workers and aides, including personal care aides and consumer-directed personal care workers
  • Hospice workers
  • Staff of and residents of nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and adult care facilities who did not receive COVID vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program

The following dates and times have been set for the Cayuga Health Vaccination Clinics for Phase 1A. Register for an appointment through the TCHD Vaccination web page. Review the documentation needed at the time of your appointment.

  • Wednesday, January 6, 6:30am-3:30pm
  • Thursday, January 7, 6:30am-3:30pm
  • Friday, January 8, 6:30am-3:30pm

Vaccine information, eligibility groups, and clinic dates and times will continue to be updated on the Health Department website: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19vaccine. If you have specific questions about registering or whether you meet the criteria after reviewing the current guidance, you may email the Health Department at COVID19vaccines@tompkins-co.org. There is no residency requirement to get vaccinated at a specific location. There is no cost or co-pay for the vaccine. If you have health insurance, you may be asked for that information, but it is not required.

Join Tompkins County Officials and Cayuga Health System CEO Dr. Martin Stallone for a virtual COVID-19 Town Hall on Wednesday, January 6 at 4:00 pm. The Town Hall will be streamed live to YouTube, members of the public can submit questions for the panelists to Dominick Recckio, Tompkins County Communications Director at drecckio@tompkins-co.org.

The Tompkins County Health Department is your partner for a healthy community. Find us online at TompkinsCountyNY.gov/health, and follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TompkinsPublicHealth and on Twitter at @TompkinsHealth.

About Cayuga Medical Center

We are a not-for-profit, acute-care medical center bringing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services to the residents of Tompkins, Cortland, Seneca, and Tioga counties. And a century after our founding, we remain intrinsically tied to those we serve: our corporate membership includes representatives from over 100 community organizations. At Cayuga Medical Center, we believe that hospitals are shaped by the people they serve

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