KINGSTON – The COVID vaccine is being issued in Ulster County in Kingston and Ellenville, but the doses coming is woefully too low.
The county has received 5,500 doses, and it needs about 50,000 in Phases 1A and 1B to cover its health workers, first responders, teachers, other frontline workers and everyone over 65.
County Executive Patrick Ryan took new State Senator Michelle Hinchey (D, Woodstock) to the Kingston vaccination site at the high school on Wednesday for her to get a firsthand look at the situation.
She says she will take the county’s concerns back to Albany.
“To get this up and running on a county level as quickly as you have is really tremendous and just shows how fortunate so many of us are to live in Ulster County. I am excited to see what we can do on the state level so that we can get everybody vaccinated as quickly as possible,” she said.
“We need more vaccines, and we need it now,” said Ryan. That’s mostly a federal problem.”
Those 65 and older, who are now eligible to be vaccinated account for 20 percent of the county’s population. The state is getting 300,000 doses a week, and Ryan expects a slow trickle downward to meet the needs of everyone.
“You can do the rough math that if the state is getting 300,000, we’ll get somewhere 2,000-3,000 at most. It’s frustrating and unacceptable to me that the federal level they have not figured out how to get this out faster. We have a tenth or less of what we need for 1A and 1B right now.”
Ulster is not the only county that is not receiving anywhere the number of doses that are needed. All areas of the state are pushing for additional supply as soon as possible.