New York state continues to open up COVID-19 vaccination eligibility, and at the same time the vaccine supply has increased with additional clinics and pharmacies being added to calendars frequently now. This is all important work as our local businesses continue to move forward and as we continue to work towards a summer tourism season that is critically important to or our local economy.
Data from the state Health Department shows that 29.9% of Chautauqua County residents have received at least one vaccine dose. 15.7% have been fully vaccinated so far. That’s a good first step, although we still have work to do, especially as we recognize that senior citizens make up the bulk of our vaccinated population at this time.
Now it’s time to get the entirety of our region’s workforce vaccinated. Beginning April 6 all New Yorkers age 16 and over will be eligible for vaccination. There will be no more regulations around pre-existing health conditions or eligibility by employment. As the gate is being opened even wider, it means there will be increased demand for the vaccine. Supply of the vaccine remains variable as it comes into the region. Therefore, there may be some challenges, for a period of time, getting an appointment for the vaccine. We encourage you to continue to have patience, and to be persistent.