Capital Region

COVID vaccination clinic to run with Schenectady Greenmarket in May, June

The Schenectady Greenmarket last August was bustling with shoppers on a Sunday morning. This year, people can also get vaccinated.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Schenectady Greenmarket last August was bustling with shoppers on a Sunday morning. This year, people can also get vaccinated.

SCHENECTADY — Starting Sunday, you’ll be able to get a dose of COVID vaccine with your eggs and kale at the Schenectady Greenmarket.

Schenectady County Public Health Services and the Greenmarket are teaming up to co-locate a vaccination site at the popular Sunday event outside City Hall.

Because the vendors must be spaced farther apart than normal in the time of COVID, and because there are so many of them this year, the Greenmarket stretches all the way around City Hall.

So the county is setting up to dispense vaccines across the street at the Karen B. Johnston Library, the central location of the county library system.

Vaccinations will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the same as the Greenmarket’s operating hours. No appointments are needed. Health workers will be there every Sunday in May and June.

Greenmarket board chair Haley Viccaro said there’s a lot of activity at the Greenmarket this spring. The marketplace has more than 80 vendors, the most ever, and because they’re spread out, the Greenmarket looks even bigger.

“We have a lot of our newer vendors starting in May,” she said.

Some of the people who were stuck at home in 2020 by circumstance or choice turned the page by starting their own businesses, and in 2021, they’re eager to get out in the marketplace, Viccaro said.

Schenectady County has the fourth-highest first-shot vaccination rate in the state, 54.3% as of Thursday morning, but it has been increasingly turning to small local vaccination sites as its large-scale clinics have begun to see decreasing demand.

Some people can’t travel to SUNY Schenectady County, the county’s regular vaccination site, so putting a clinic at the library brings the vaccine a bit closer to the core of Schenectady.

With the Greenmarket drawing people from all over the city and beyond, shoppers will have a convenient opportunity to get the shot that might not be convenient where they live.

Foot traffic surged when the Greenmarket moved outdoors for the season, Viccaro said, with nearly 2,000 stopping by April 11, that first Sunday, and more than 1,000 each April 18 and 25.

This may grow further: The Greenmarket plans to launch a trolley service that will traverse some of the Schenectady neighborhoods that are food deserts, where there’s not a good source of fresh food. These same neighborhoods also are seeinglower rates of vaccination than other parts of the city and county.

The 15 millionth dose of COVID vaccine in New York was administered Wednesday. As of 11 a.m. Thursday, 15,170,850 doses had been administered statewide, 45.6% of New Yorkers had received at least one dose and 33.4% were fully vaccinated.

Nationwide, about 30% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

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