OSWEGO — The Oswego County Health Department is striving to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible people in the most efficient way possible, and Tuesday announced new protocols to help streamline the process.
Beginning this Thursday, March 4, the department will post a link after 10 a.m. every Thursday at health.oswegocounty.com that people can use to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. A vaccination hotline will also be launched this week to help people make appointments by phone. The phone line will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays at 315-349-3383.
“We are happy that so many people in our community want to be vaccinated,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “We share in their enthusiasm for taking this next step and helping bring an end to this pandemic.”
He continued, “Like many rural counties across the state, we are starting to receive a slightly increased allotment of the vaccine. This allows us to vaccinate more people who meet the state’s criteria. Still, demand for the vaccine continues to exceed the amount we receive, and appointments are expected to fill quickly. We ask residents to please be patient and check back often as additional appointments become available each week.”
Oswego County is currently able to vaccinate individuals that fall into the 1B category of eligibility. This includes first responders, educators, public-facing grocery store workers, public transportation workers (including taxi drivers), food service and hotel workers, people with qualifying comorbidities and those aged 65 and above. For details, go to the New York State phased distribution guidelines at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine#phase-1a---phase-1b.
Those attending an Oswego County Health Department vaccination clinic must have an appointment and proof of eligibility at the time of vaccination. Acceptable proof includes a pay stub or work ID, a letter from a health care provider or proof of age. Those without an appointment and proof of eligibility will not be vaccinated.
Free transportation is available to residents to go to COVID-19 test and vaccination sites through a partnership between Oswego County and Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. Transportation is available Monday through Saturday between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Call 315-598-1514 to schedule a ride in advance.
Call the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 for details. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.
Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the sole local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response over all persons and entities within the County of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department works closely with New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 monitoring, response and reporting.