County leaders ask governor for mass vaccination site in Genesee County

Coronavirus

GENESEE COUNTY, N.Y. (WROC) — County leaders want Genesee Community College to become a mass vaccination site.

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County leaders and health officials have written a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, claiming rural counties have been left out of the COVID-19 response.

MORE | New mass COVID-19 vaccination site, pop-up clinic coming to Rochester

With delays in testing supplies and limited access to vaccines, they say many residents who live in those counties need to travel nearly an hour to get the vaccine.

New York State Department of Health Public information Officer Jill Montag released a statement in response saying the state is looking to continue to expand more mass vaccination sites as the supply of the vaccine increases.

“New York State has operationalized one of the largest vaccine distribution networks in the nation, with over 5,000 providers statewide, and nearly 4 million shots administered to date. The state has also taken special efforts to reach communities where access is lowest, hesitancy rates are the highest, and vaccination rates are below average, but as with everything, the state’s supply is limited by the allocation we receive from the federal government. We look forward to being able to continue to expand access as the federal government increases the supply of vaccines.

Full letter to the governor:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County Health Departments respectfully request a regional mass vaccination clinic at the Genesee Community College (GCC) campus to provide COVID-19 vaccine to the rural counties. These counties have consistently been left out of the COVID-19 response with delays in testing supplies and now with very limited vaccine allocations. All three counties are medically underserved and having a regional clinic with less than a half hour commute would benefit these communities.

The residents of these counties are strategically located between Buffalo and Rochester and many residents have limited access to transportation to travel 45-60 minute commute twice to safely get the COVID-19 vaccine. This would also draw the eastern and western portions of other contiguous counties. The college campus is easily accessible from the Thruway. The GCC campus facility, if properly staffed, through assistance by the National Guard has the capacity of vaccinating in excess of 2,000 individuals per day.

With the three counties vulnerable and underserved populations, the county Local Health Departments also request to continue receiving allocations for their vulnerable populations locally to meet the needs of those with transportation/access issues while also supporting a larger regional clinic at GCC.

Our three counties look forward to working with your office to provide this much needed and more equitable solution to meet the needs of the more rural communities.

For further conversation around establishing this clinic, please contact Paul Pettit at Paul.Pettit@orleanscountyny.gov or 585-589-3250.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

  • Rochelle Stein, Genesee County Legislative Chairwoman
  • Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislative Chairwoman
  • Rebecca Ryan, Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman
  • Paul Pettit, Genesee Orleans County Health Departments Director
  • Dr. Gregory Collins, Wyoming County Health Department Medical Director

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