Schenectady County offers help setting up vaccine appointments

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Schenectady County library staff are available to help people schedule appointments for COVID vaccinations being given at the state and Federal Emergency Management Agency site in Albany, according to a news release sent Thursday.

“Searching for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment can be a daunting task, especially for people who don’t have reliable internet access,” said Philip Fields, deputy chairperson of the Schenectady County Legislature in the release.

The announcement comes as the county continues to look at ways to inform people of vaccine eligibility and help them travel to vaccine locations.

People who are eligible to receive the vaccine and live in zip codes 12304, 12305, 12307 and 12308 are now able to set an appointment at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany.

On Thursday librarians at the Hon. Karen B. Johnson Central Library were available to help residents with scheduling an appointment. Librarians will continue to be available Monday through Saturday. Starting Monday, laptops at the Phyllis Bornt Branch Library & Literacy Center and the Mont Pleasant Branch Library will be available to the public to make appointments. People do not need an appointment to go to the libraries.

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Get help scheduling an appointment

WHERE: Karen B. Johnson Central Library,

WHEN: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. Saturday

Starting on Monday, March 1, laptops also will be available for residents to schedule vaccine appointments at the Bornt and Mont Pleasant Branch libraries during normal curbside pickup hours.

Phyllis Bornt Branch Library & Literacy Center

WHERE: 948 State Street, Schenectady

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Mont Pleasant Branch Library

WHERE: 1036 Crane Street, Schenectady

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Library Director Karen Bradley could not be reached for comment.

County Manager Rory Fluman said the county’s ability to help people is somewhat based on the number of vaccines it is allotted each week.

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“The vaccine comes to us so slowly,” he said.

The county is still focused on making sure essential workers are vaccinated, he said. Right now that group includes teachers and other employees of schools – which is thousands of people in the county.

The city school district alone has around 1,300 employees, Fluman said, but the county has only been getting 400 to 500 doses a week.

The county had also been supplying some vaccines to nursing homes as more residents entered facilities and staff were hired, but the state recently took over supplying those dosages.

Fluman said the county reached out to local organizations like Bethesda House, which provided rides for people, to let them know about the zip codes eligible for the state vaccination site.

He also said anyone with transportation issues should look into taking the CDTA 905 bus plus route to the site, which is a 30 minute ride.

The Armory doesn’t have parking, he said, so the state has opened up nearby lots to people and are shuttling them to the front door.

He also said people who have transportation issues can schedule an appointment for the county-run site at SUNY Schenectady. Right now there is a waiting period of at least seven to 10 days—the time it takes the county to receive notification from the state on its next dosage shipment.

He said the pre-registration list for an appointment is down to 4,000 people from 10,000 when they first opened it up.

Fluman said daycare has not been a presented problem, since people can bring their children to a vaccination site if needed.

He said the state site will be opened up to all of the county next week.

The county also has a plan ready to go  to vaccinate homebound residents by going door-to-door.

“We’re ready to go,” Fluman said, noting they have lists of people who are homebound.

The setback again, Fluman said, is the number of dosages the county has available.

He said if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine gets approved it will help tremendously.

“That could be a game-changer,” he said.

Once more vaccines start rolling out the county is also planning to target congregate homes. It has already vaccinated 112 people at Ten Eyck Apartments.

Should the county begin to receive an influx of vaccines it will work with community health partners to begin distributing the shots through their facilities, Fluman said.

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Categories: News, Schenectady County

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