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Health leaders get creative to get people vaccinated

Erie County will host five more 'Shot and Chaser' events and launched 'Vax Visit.' Niagara County will move away from mass vaccination sites to small clinics.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — According to New York State Health Department data, nearly 50% of all New Yorkers have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and local health departments have been shifting efforts as they try to get as many people as they can vaccinated.

Just a month ago, the Transit Drive-In, a Niagara County mass vaccination clinic, was vaccinating 3,000 to 4,000 people within a two day span but Public Health Director Dan Stapleton said those numbers have been dropping.

"We started seeing the numbers dwindling about three weeks ago from 4,000, to 3,000 to 2,000 and so we are moving away from that," he said.

Stapleton said the Niagara County Department of Health will have their final mass vaccination clinic at the Transit Drive-In on Thursday and said then they will shift to smaller community based clinics at schools.

"Then we will go exclusively to a couple small school based clinics doing two a week," he continued.

Health departments are trying to make getting a vaccine as convenient as possible, Stapleton said that is key to getting younger generations vaccinated.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz agrees. The county offered its first 'Shot and Chaser' event at Resurgence Brewery on Saturday to appeal to that younger age group and said they got a good turn out.

"The first one was this past weekend at Resurgence Brewery and went great. We got 10 times the people we would normally get for some of our first shot clinics," Poloncarz said during Tuesday's press briefing.

Erie County has five more of these clinics slated at different breweries throughout the month of May:.

  • May 12 - Flying Bison Brewing Co.
  • May 15 - Steelbound in Springville
  • May 15 - Thin Man and Tappo
  • May 20 - 12 Gates Brewing Co.
  • May 21 - Soho Buffalo

Tuesday, Poloncarz announced you will no longer need to leave your home to get a vaccine if you don't want to, launching a program called 'Vax Visit.'

"'Vax Visit' a new program for any Erie County resident, the 'Vax Visit' team will come to you or your household and vaccinate you in your home," he said.

If you'd like to take part in the program you're asked to call (716) 858-2929 and an Erie County Department of Health staff member will come to your home to get you vaccinated.

"We are trying to make it as easy as possible to get as many people vaccinated as possible," he said.

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