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Western New York pharmacies begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses

Tops has only received a few doses and will not accept appointments until the rest of them are in. Wegmans has appointments beginning Friday.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — People who are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccination will soon be able to start getting it done at local pharmacies, since they've started to receive the doses. 

"We are starting to see the vaccine come into our stores at this time, but we are not taking any appointments at this time until all the vaccines are fully in store," said Kathy Sautter, manager of public and media relations at Tops.  

She says all 35 Tops locations in Western New York have a pharmacy inside and will soon be administering the vaccine.

She says part of the wait is also because the supplies and personal protection equipment (PPE) don't come in the same delivery as the Moderna doses.

"We are at the mercy of the state in terms of the allocation that's being given to us and the speed at which we can do so. As I mentioned, we are slowly starting to get the vaccines into our store, but that's also coming in a separate shipment from the supplies in which to distribute the vaccine so everything is in a trickle down effect," Sautter said. "We can't get any supplies or shots into people's arms faster if you will and faster than we can get those vaccines."

She says she thanks the community for how patient they've been. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week anyone 65 and older is eligible to get the vaccine as part of phase 1B of distribution.

It also includes teachers, first responders and transit workers.

Over at Wegmans, a spokesperson tells me the stores pharmacies are receiving their first round of doses this week, with appointments beginning on Friday. 

It only includes two locations in Western New York: the one on Alberta Drive in Amherst and the one on Sheridan Drive in Williamsville.

At Wegmans, you must make an appointment ahead of time.

The same goes for Tops, once they start accepting appointments. 

2 On Your Side also reached out to Walgreens about whether they have the vaccine yet but did not receive an immediate response. 

When 2 On Your Side's Danielle Church checked their website, she also didn't see the COVID-19 vaccine listed with all the other vaccinations they provide.

A spokesperson with CVS says select counties in New York State will offer the vaccine this Friday but didn't specify which ones.

When 2 On Your Side reached out to the state health department about how many doses were going to pharmacies in Erie and Niagara counties, no other information was given other than the state receives 300,000 doses per week and allocates them based on population.