Vaccine Tourism in Broome County
Broome County officials say while New York State indicated from the start that the vaccination site at the former Gannett publishing location in Johnson City was a regional facility, that site and others are actually open to any New Yorker who scores an appointment.
Associated Press reports some New Yorkers are taking hours-long drives to get the COVID-19 vaccine because of a lack of available appointments at state-run sites closer to home.
Residents in Albany and Buffalo have had to sign up for appointments hours away in Utica, Rochester, Binghamton or Syracuse and many downstate residents with or without connections to students at Binghamton University have been found making the trek to Johnson City to get a shot.
The new expansion of the list of those eligible to receive the limited number of vaccines to include those with underlying health conditions is putting additional strain on the system.
The county-run vaccination pods are addressing residents in the original 1a and 1b priority groups that include health care workers and other essential workers while pharmacies are vaccinating residents age 65 and older. The state is scheduling appointments for all eligible residents, including the new group of those with comorbidities.
Even with an increase in the amount of doses being set to the states and then down to local sites, there are far more people wanting to get vaccinated than there are vaccines available.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.