BATAVIA, N.Y. — 2 On Your Side continues to search for the critical information many of you are asking us about: where can people get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Starting Friday major pharmacies CVS and Walgreens began vaccinating seniors only.
It's just another example of how fast Covid-19 vaccine appointments are going. On Friday morning, we found an appointment Sunday at the Walgreens on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo.
Seconds later it was gone.
We continue to hear from a lot of people trying to book an appointment through their local pharmacy. They are recommended to continue checking pharmacy websites.
On Friday, at Genesee Community College in Batavia, essential workers and seniors were being vaccinated. Next week, Genesee County anticipates receiving at least 100 doses of vaccine.
"We get our allocations over the weekend, so usually Saturday or Sunday, I'll get an email with how many doses we're going to be receiving, and those usually come in anywhere from Tuesday or Wednesday," said Paul Pettit, the public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties.
What happens to those limited vaccine appointments?
"We're going to have to continue to prioritize what the state tells us we have to, which is essential workers right now. At the health department, starting next week, we can do comorbidity with special allocations for that, and again, try to loop in our folks 65 and older as best as we can," Pettit said.
Many county health departments tell us they are not making new appointments until they have vaccine in hand. That's been the case for the past few weeks.
In Niagara County, officials say they expect to do 400 first dose vaccines a week from Friday.
In the meantime, the Erie County health department is still playing catchup on canceled appointments from last month, due to lack of supply, and said that it's anticipated to take the rest of the month to get through the backlog.
Starting on Monday, the state will allow people with compromised immune systems and underlying health issues to become eligible to receive the vaccine. Another group added with not enough doses to go around.
A Walgreens corporate spokesperson wrote in a statement:
"Walgreens is currently allocated a total of 10,700 doses per week in New York State. Initially, vaccine inventory remains very limited and available to eligible individuals only. Eligibility is based on state and jurisdiction guidelines, and New York residents can find information on eligible populations through New York’s COVID-19 vaccine website. The CDC selected Walgreens as a pharmacy partner in specific states and jurisdictions to optimize vaccine access in medically underserved areas and areas with a high social vulnerability index score. This allocation is expected to remain consistent over the next month and we continue to work with the CDC as inventory continues to build. Walgreens will work with the CDC to monitor vaccine demand, supply and market saturation. As the program expands, and supply becomes more readily available, the allocation may be adjusted. Eligible individuals can now make appointments for both first and second doses at the same time by visiting Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine."