Ryan visits local vaccination centers

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Ulster County Exec Pat Ryan in Rochester.

TOWN OF ROCHESTER — Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan toured municipally-run COVID vaccination sites over the past week, visiting the Town of Rochester’s Community Center Wednesday afternoon.

Ulster County has partnered with local towns of Rosendale, New Paltz and Rochester to create walk-in COVID vaccination sites for local residents.

The county notified them of the walk-in dates and locations by mail. These sites were all prepared within a week’s time.

Ryan said it is part of a philosophy to bring government to the people, rather than the other way around. The county is hoping that offering vaccination sites closer to home will encourage those who have issues getting to the large vaccination sites, or those who are hesitant, to get vaccinated.

“Our hope is that we’ll do more of these and also just continue to try to get creative and figuring out how to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated because we still have 50 to 60,000 more people that we have to have vaccinated to get to heard immunity; and so, we’re doing everything we can to do that as quickly as possible,” said Ryan.

Rochester Town Supervisor Mike Baden said he was glad he had the opportunity to host a walk-in site. He said hopefully having a more comfortable environment for vaccination will encourage more people to come out and get vaccinated.

“I’m excited we’re able to help the people in the community, the people that getting to Kingston is just not easy for them,” said Baden. “There’s a familiarity here. People come to the community center for a lot of events: parties, luncheons- they know where they’re going. They’re comfortable coming here, so I think that helps too. If we can help serve and get a couple hundred people vaccinated, that’s great,” he said.

Ulster County has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state and Ryan said their rate of no-shows for second shots is only three to four percent. 

The local walk-in vaccination sites continue this afternoon in the Town of Gardiner.