Hundreds of eager Ulster County residents lined up inside the county’s mass vaccination site at the Kate Walton Field House behind Kingston High School on Wednesday.
New Yorkers 65 and older were recently added to the list of people that are eligible to receive the vaccine. On Wednesday, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and newly elected state Senator Michelle Hinchey toured the facility.
"We have set a very high standard here, getting this site up quickly, running very smoothly," Ryan said.
What You Need To Know
- The Kate Walton Field House vaccination site opened in Kingston on Monday
- You must make an appointment in order to receive a vaccine
- Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and State Senator Michele Hinchey toured the facility Wednesday
The site is open 10 hours a day and run by volunteers and staff. It was set up to be able to administer 1,500 vaccines a day, but right now, they’re only distributing about a third of that number.
Ryan said they’re just not getting enough doses of the vaccine from the federal government.
"We've got 50,000-plus eligible right now in the county, and we have nowhere near, I mean, we have an order of magnitude - less available doses compared to the demand," said Ryan. "My number one call is, which is echoing everybody in the state, we need more vaccine, we need it now."
The vaccination site is by appointment only. Once you arrive, you go through a health screening before being ushered into a cubicle to get your shot. Afterward, you wait in an observation area. Officials say the whole process should take less than an hour.
Joanna Arkans, a teacher at New Paltz High School, received her first shot on Wednesday.
"It's really exciting. I mean, I didn’t know when this would be available, but being a teacher, we haven’t been able to be in the building, and it's just really reassuring to think that we could more safely return," Arkans said.
The process was easy for Arkans, but the director of the Ulster County Office of the Aging is concerned that older residents may have trouble scheduling their vaccine online if they don’t have access to the internet or email.
Director Susan Koppenhaver says her office will help any senior who is not able to sign up for the vaccine online.
"One, get a family member to help you go online and do this. Number two, if you do not have that, call our office. We will help you," Koppenhaver said.
To contact the Ulster County Office of the Aging, call (845) 340-3456. If you are eligible to receive the vaccine and would like to register online for your appointment, you can go here.\
@PatRyanUC and @MichelleHinchey toured the facility today. They say the facility has the capacity to give 1500 shots daily but because of vaccine supply shortages they haven’t been able to reach that goal yet. They’re calling on the federal gov to increase supply. @SPECNewsHV pic.twitter.com/hErOQHNKu7— Olivia Leach (@OliviaLeachNews) January 13, 2021