While getting the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine “was great” for Jared Alvarado of Amsterdam, he’s still adamant about not going to any gatherings until he knows it’s safe enough to.
“I’m going to keep it on the down low,” he said, noting he’ll go get himself something to celebrate the occasion in a small way.
Alvarado was just one of dozens of people who received the vaccine Saturday during a pop-up vaccination site at Riverfront Center in Amsterdam. He said he and the other family members made the trip together.
The pop-up site was one of 12 set up across the state as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push to ensure New Yorkers are vaccinated fairly and quickly, according to a news release issued by the governor’s office Thursday.
“Social equity and fairness has been at the center of our response, but this isn’t purely an access issue,” Cuomo said in the release. “We need New Yorkers to trust the vaccine and actually take it. We’re tackling skepticism and distrust head-on through our local partnerships and pop-up sites and bringing the vaccine directly into the communities that have been hit hardest by this pandemic.”
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, said more needs to be done to ensure there are sites in rural communities, not just metropolitian areas.
“Mass vaccination sites in the Capital Region are crucial for getting this virus under control, but rural communities will need additional vaccination sites due to the long distances residents would have to travel to access a site located in an urban area,” he said in a news release Saturday. “We are currently exploring ways to increase vaccine access for rural New Yorkers and we must consider adding mass vaccination sites at large, open areas like the Fonda Fairgrounds. A person’s ZIP code shouldn’t determine whether they can safely and easily access the COVID-19 vaccine. I’ll continue working to support our rural communities and ensure they can access the resources they need to get through this pandemic.”
While Alvarado said he felt grateful to get the vaccine, he said the process seems a little sporadic.
“You should get the shot whenever you have a chance to get the shot, but some people who should get the shot aren’t getting it,” he said.
Vilma Miranda of Amsterdam, also received the first of her two shots Saturday morning. She was the first of her family to do so, she said to a translator because she could only speak Spanish.
She said it felt good to get the shot and was just thanking God for the chance.
Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said Amsterdam has a large Hispanic population, which is often underserved. The site was an “opportunity to vaccinate more people,” he said, especially those in underserved areas of the community.
In total, Amsterdam received 1,500 doses from the state and will finish up 300 of those doses Monday, Ossenfort said.
The Riverfront Center site will be set up again in three weeks to give people their second dose.
As the number of people getting vaccinated continues to rise across the state, the number of hospitalizations continues to decrease, with 5,445 people hospitalized Friday. That is the lowest number of people hospitalized since Dec. 12, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
Deaths also continued to remain below 100. There were 85 deaths Friday; one person in Fulton County died.
The seven-day positivity rate was 3.18 percent — the lowest the state has seen since Nov. 26.