ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New Yorkers age 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This means a lot more people able to get the vaccine and more demand for appointments.
While appointments were to hard to come by when the vaccine first came out, more shots have been given to communities since then. Jennifer Mordaci is an education liaison with Rochester Regional Health.
“It feels like people who want a vaccination are able to schedule themselves and get an appointment. Right now there will probably be an influx of people wanting an appointment because the numbers or the guidelines of who can obtain or get an appointment have increased but as have the allocations throughout the community,” said Mordaci.
She said throughout the vaccination period there’s been issues with people scheduling an appointment, later finding a new one, and forgetting to cancel the original one.
“By not doing that you are not allowing someone else to make that appointment that was already allocated for you. Not only was the first shot allocated for you, but the second appointment was also allocated for you for your second dose, so you’ve kind of no-showed two appointments.”
She said RRH has been sending out calls to patients about their appointments to remind people and spark their memory if they need to cancel it.
People can go to the Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub website to find an appointment. The website shows all available appointments and sites in the region.
Patients who are minors will need a parent of legal guardian’s consent to get an appointment. 16 and 17 year olds will also need to be accompanied by that adult to their appointment, and they will need to sign a consent form.
Minors will only be able to get the Pfizer vaccine, the others are only authorized for patients 18 and older.
Mordaci said patient can use the RRH portal to get to the vaccination hub to make an appointment or call 585-922-8888. The phone number will be especially helpful for a minor emancipated from their parents.
“If you’re an emancipated minor you can go ahead and make these appointments,” she said.
Dr. Mathew Devine from Highland Family Medicine said we’re seeing COVID cases affecting the younger population and it’s critical to get them vaccinated as soon as possible. He tells parents the shot is safe.
“The big thing about this is looking at any types of side effects, but what the studies are showing is that these vaccines are actually more effective in the younger ages which is really great,” said Dr. Devine.
Moderna is working on vaccine trials with the 12-15 year old age group. He said so far, the vaccine is proving to be nearly 100% effective in that group.