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Ulster, Columbia counties working towards 70 percent vaccinated by July 4

Jun 11, 2021 6:33 am

Ulster County currently has 61 percent of its population having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to New York's vaccine tracker website. But getting to President Joe Biden's July 4 goal of 70 percent will be difficult. Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that now Ulster County is going to individual homes to vaccinate residents. Residents can call the county Recovery Service Center at (845) 443-8888 to make appointments. “Folks that can’t come to us, we will come to you,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “While we have made major gains in our vaccination progress, we still have a ways to go, and ensuring that we can vaccinate all of our residents in a safe, rapid and equitable manner remains our top priority,” Ryan said. “We want to make getting vaccinated as easy as possible through offering in-home vaccinations.” Natasha Vaughn reports in Columbia-Greene Media that Columbia County wants to do a better job vaccinating its senior citizens. “The state average among senior citizens is 80.7 percent, and ours is 78.9 percent,” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said. “So we're off by 1.8 percent. and if we start to break that number down it is about 250 people. Obviously I’m very pleased to report that 78.9 percent of our seniors have been vaccinated, on the other hand the higher we can push it the better.” The Office for the Aging is getting two grants for $17,000 to help raise the vaccination numbers. “This money could have been better used six months ago, but we’ll gladly take it,” Mabb said. “My feeling is that supervisors know their towns, they know their people, they have people within their towns that probably know their senior population better, and I want to appeal to them and see if they can help us get to the homebound and the folks that have trouble getting transportation.” Columbia County needs to vaccinate about 1,600 more people to reach 70 percent by July 4. “I don’t think we’ll make that by the fourth,” Mabb said. “I think we’ll get close, i’d love to see us at 70 percent, its not a magic number we have heard immunity now, we’ve got plenty of heard immunity I think that’s why our numbers are so low. I would love to see us at 70 percent, I think we’ll get there by the end of summer.”