We get our shot in the arm


By Patsy Nicosia

We get our shot in the arm

With military-like precision—and jokes and smiles—Schoharie County added 600 people to its COVID-vaccinated list Sunday.
Held at Cobleskill-Richmondville High School, it was the first mass-vax clinic, with more than 100 volunteers and Health Department staffers turning out to man tables, dispense shots, and help set up second appointments.
Irene Rivenburgh of Schoharie was first in line.
She took the excitement in stride; her concern is not bringing COVID home to her homebound husband, she said.
Bonnie Lewis, also from Schoharie and #2, was giddy.
“I’m excited,” Ms. Lewis said. “I like people. I want to be able to get out again. This is a really big deal for me.”
And for the Health Department as well.
If Sunday’s clinic went well—and by all appearances, it did—that could qualify them for a shipment of nearly 1,200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next time.
“Today is a trial,” said Public Health Director Amy Gildemeister as they got ready to open the doors.
“This is half as many people in half as much time…That many Pfizer doses would require eight or nine hours, but I’m confident we can do it.”
Cobleskill Regional Hospital pharmacist Dave DeSando was one of about a dozen people administering the vaccines.
He said he welcomed the chance to get them out.
“This is what we do, we help people,” he said. “And it feels good. I’m glad to see so many people here. They’re taking this seriously.”
But not too seriously.
“It’s like old home day,” joked one volunteer. “I haven’t seen so many people I used to work with in years.”
“Did you see me cry?” asked Carl Walther of Sharon Springs after getting his shot.
“No really, I didn’t even feel it. It’s a relief to get this done.”
Katherine Hawkins of Summit said she was glad to have gotten a spot at the clinic.
So was Nicolaos Gregoriou of North Blenheim, who’s planning a trip home to Greece in April; COVID restrictions are much stricter there, he said.
“And it’s just something we need to do. Today, it was all very well run and organized. It feels good.”

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While details are still sketchy, a new state COVID mass-vaccination site is expected to open at SUNY Oneonta late this week.
It’s expected to have the Pfizer vaccine and will be open seven days a week.
Once appointments are opened, those eligible will be able to set up one online at New York’s “Am I Eligible” website, https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or search “Am I eligible NY” for the link, or by calling the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX.
A total of 1,300 positive COVID cases had been reported in Schoharie County as of Tuesday, an increase of nine from the day before.
It was March 20, 2020 that the first two cases here were reported; the first death came in June.
It wasn’t till October that cases topped 100; by February 1, there were 1,000.
So far there have been 13 reported deaths.