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The Niagara County Department of Health (NCDOH) will conduct point-of-dispensing (POD) operations starting Tuesday, Jan. 12.
“We are happy to announce the start of our mass vaccination campaigns, to offer COVID-19 vaccine to eligible persons in our community,” Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said.
PODs will be scheduled Tuesday-Thursday on a weekly basis, dependent on vaccine availability. Primary POD locations have been identified in Lockport, Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda. All POD operations are preregistration only, and sites will be changed to ensure access by different areas across the county.
“There are two key steps for securing an appointment for COVID-19 vaccine at one of our PODs,” stated Elise Pignatora, director of public health planning and emergency preparedness. First, determine if you are eligible in the current New York state priority group phase, by visiting https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/. Click on ‘Check Eligibility’ and complete the form. Upon submission, it will advise if you are eligible or not. Please print out the page that tells you if you are eligible (or save a screenshot on your phone) and bring it with you to the POD. You will also need to bring proof of eligibility such as an employee ID card, letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on the specific priority status. Second, schedule an appointment at one of the providers displayed after you complete the aforementioned form.
“For Niagara County DOH PODs, vaccinations are available by appointment only by registering via the links provided on our website at: https://www.niagaracounty.com/health/Services/Public-Health-Preparedness/2019-Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19/COVID-19-Vaccination.
“Appointments will be made available for the current number of vaccine doses we have on hand to administer,” Stapleton said.
Participants will receive a vaccination card that lists when the second dose should be received. Niagara County Department of Health is administering Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which requires a second dose of the same vaccine one month later to complete the vaccination series.
“After vaccination, it is still very important that you continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing,” Stapleton emphasized.
According to NYS, people age 75 and over will primarily be vaccinated at pharmacies and other sites that are part of a retail network. Visit the “NYS Am I Eligible” website at: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ to find a location, or call the COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
For more information regarding the state priority groups for vaccine eligibility, visit: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine. As POD operations are scheduled on a week-to-week basis, continue to check the NCDOH website for updates: https://www.niagaracounty.com/health.