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Picente 'outraged' at state vaccine distribution as county forced to close sites without more doses

The drive-thru coronavirus vaccination sites Oneida County operates at Griffiss International Airport in Rome and MVCC in Utica are closed for now, until the county receives more vaccine doses.

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 1:28 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2021 5:44 PM

ROME, N.Y. – The drive-thru coronavirus vaccination sites Oneida County operates at Griffiss International Airport in Rome and MVCC in Utica are closed for now, until the county receives more vaccine doses.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente continues to criticize how the state is managing this process, calling it “outrageous” and “an embarrassment.”

With the state-run SUNY Polytechnic Institute site the only one still administering shots in the county, Picente wonders why the state wouldn’t just redistribute those doses so all sites could work together to get more people vaccinated faster.

“There are thousands of vaccines up at SUNY. They couldn't give us 200 a day to take care of the seniors in this community? It's outrageous, it's an embarrassment, and clearly, it's not the way that this pandemic should be managed,” said Picente.

So far, the vaccination sites managed by the county have administered all of the roughly 4,800 shots they’ve received to date.

Picente says getting the local community vaccinated should be the priority, but people are coming from across the state to get vaccines at the SUNY Poly site.

"The governor pointed out two regions in the state, the Finger Lakes and the Mohawk Valley, that had high positivity. We gotta keep an eye on that. We gotta get the vaccine there. Well, then you took the vaccine away and you allowed people to come from across the state to SUNY," he said.

The county has stopped booking appointments for both the MVCC and Griffiss sites until they receive more doses or know how many they will receive in the next shipment.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2715335

Reported Deaths: 57428
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