Residents Partake In ‘Vaccine Tourism’ At Jamestown COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

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JAMESTOWN – Among those vaccinated during Tuesday’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Jamestown were residents from across Western New York who traveled hours from home to get the shot.

In what many are calling ‘Vaccine Tourism’, Erie County resident Becky Wagner left her Holland home early in the morning, traveling to Jamestown to get Moderna’s dose during a clinic at SUNY JCC.

The public-school employee says it is very frustrating to book an appointment, with slots filling up almost as soon as they go online.

“I go on different county health department websites, they have very good up-to-date vaccine information, that’s where I find them, on other counties than Erie,” explained Wagner. “I feel that Erie County’s website is very hard to find a vaccine.”

This was the first time Wanger visited the Jamestown area, and she is not alone.

Over the past month there has been an uptick in travel to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with chain pharmacies like Wegmans in West Ellicott seeing appointments booked from Buffalo area residents, leaving locals frustrated.

However, because the vaccine is federally funded, there are no restrictions on who can book an appointment.

This week a third vaccine, a one-dose version from Johnson & Johnson, is now being distributed.

President Joe Biden said Tuesday the United States will have enough vaccine doses for every adult American by the end of May, dramatically accelerating his timeline but acknowledging the country must still be vigilant against the virus.

In the end, Wagner is thankful to be able to get vaccinated in Jamestown.

“In my mind it is going to keep me safe, I am going to be able to get back to normal, and I am going to be able to go around my family,” furthered Wagner. “I wanna make sure nothing happens to my parents.”

The Chautauqua County Health Department, who vaccinated 700 people during the clinic, is expected to receive another “big” shipment of vaccines in the next few days with appointments posted online at

So far, 14,887 county residents have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 8,694 getting the second. Those number represent 11 percent and six percent of the total population respectively.


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