JAMESTOWN – Chautauqua County’s Executive is calling on New York State to open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all New Yorkers.
Executive PJ Wendel, speaking on WNY News Now’s noon broadcast Wednesday, says while demand for the shot remains high this week the intense rush to book appointments has slowed down.
“Open it up for everybody eligible, 18 years of age and over, sign up, will get people vaccinated,” said Wendel. “There are some that are still trying to get those vaccines and we are working diligently to get out to those who are homebound, those with disabilities and the older population as well.”
Wendel says he and his staff determined the policy change would not only clear up continued confusions about who can get the shot, but also, speed up the process to getting life “back to normal.”
“We have been asking for the ability, and we I say the local health departments, the ability to vaccinate people, we have plans, they have plans, everything’s in motion, let that plan be in full effect,” said Wendel. “For example, what is your throughput? Throughput isn’t 50 and above, with comorbidities, without comorbidities, that throughput hasn’t been calculated with all these restrictions and state has put on that vaccination from the health departments, the throughput is, the plan is, for everyone to be eligible.”
The executive says he will forward the request to state leaders in the coming days.
This week, the county health department will be administering 3,000 doses in both the Jamestown and Fredonia area after New York provided their largest allotment of doses to date, with nearby Allegany County also giving an additional 1,000 doses from an unused supply.
Wendel continues to urge residents eligible to sign up for the first available appointment and not wait for a specific vaccine brand to be available locally.
Viewers can watch the full interview with County Executive Wendel in the embedded video above or by clicking here.