Area pharmacies getting more vaccine

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County area pharmacies are now front and center, receiving more COVID-19 vaccine supplies headed to the arms of local residents.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead gave a COVID update Monday to the Board of Supervisors at the County Office Building.

“The pharmacies are starting to see quite a bit more vaccine,” Stead said. “We’re starting to see more flow.”

Stead cited three main sources of late where area residents are gaining the opportunity to receive their COVID vaccines. They were: CVS Pharmacy in Gloversville, Walgreen’s, and Kinney Drugs in the region. He said Palmer’s Pharmacy in Johnstown also received some vaccine for distribution at the Johnstown Senior Citizens Center.

The Fulton County COVID Task Force continues to meet twice a week, Stead said He said he continues to monitor state teleconferences for COVID, like for those given involving the Mohawk Valley Control Room. He said that group used to meet two or three times a week, but it has been pared down to just Fridays.

“It does not have a lot of productive information,” Stead said.

He said much of the information imparted out by the state to regions ends up being rehashed information previously announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

But Stead said there are some other worthy vaccination calls from state officials, which often impart information midweek to county health directors.

“These calls are more for the practitioners,” he said.

Meanwhile, Stead said the county is continuing testing and tracing for COVID-19, although it can only do so much.

“Our county Health Department is stretched pretty thin,” he said.

He said the Fulton County Office for Aging works “diligently” behind the scenes to answer questions for seniors about COVID. He said the OFA will be announcing a major initiative with Kinney Drugs, which has a large presence in the western part of the county.

Fulton County also may see more vaccinations involving senior housing, Stead said, as well as larger vaccination sites.

“The state has promised us larger doses for senior citizens,” he said.

Stead praised the recent effort involving a Point Of Delivery, or POD for vaccinations at Fulton-Montgomery Community College that saw over 600 people vaccinated for either the first or second time. He said the state is running large venue PODs in bigger cities, but it can be a “challenge” for seniors in rural areas such as Fulton County.

He said the county is desperately trying to reach more seniors.

“It’s been a big push for us,” he said.

Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born commented that she received comments from participants in the recent FMCC vaccination, who lauded the professionalism of the effort. She praised the “efficiency” of the Fulton County Public Health Department.

“I totally agree,” said board Chairman Jack Callery. “I think they’ve done a remarkable job.”

By Paul Wager