More than 30,700 Putnam County residents are eligible under New York state rules to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. County Executive MaryEllen Odell says the state has allocated just 200 vaccines to the health department this week for essential workers and 200 doses to a pharmacy to administer to senior citizens.
Odell says it should be easier and faster to get COVID-19 vaccine, but the hard truth is that a lot of the most vulnerable residents are having to wait too long to be vaccinated.
Right now, there are only three options for vaccination in Putnam County, one through Department of Health, which is running clinics in Carmel and Philipstown but only for eligible essential workers. Putnam Hospital Center is only authorized to vaccinate healthcare professionals. A pharmacy in Cold Spring is authorized for senior citizen vaccinations only.
Putnam County has almost 18,000 residents aged 65 or older, and an estimated 2,600 residents work in law enforcement, firefighting or other protective service occupations. Another 6,200 or so residents work in education and libraries, which the Census lumps together. Then there are 3,900 healthcare practitioners, technologists and technicians. There's also nursing home and group home staff and residents.