JAMESTOWN – Chautauqua County’s first walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic opened on Tuesday at SUNY JCC in Jamestown, and local health officials hope the new availability will contribute to an increased vaccination effort.
So far, around 40 percent of county residents have received a vaccine, but lately new COVID-19 infections have been rising, putting the local health department on alert.
“We still have a way to go,” said Christine Schuyler, the Director of Health and Human Services in Chautauqua County. “This still leaves a number of people who are not fully vaccinated.”
Schuyler says there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases following the Easter holiday, as well as spring break.
“People are letting their guard down, and honestly they’re letting their guard down prematurely,” Schuyler said.
She says the rising numbers have been mostly 20 to 29-year-olds, a group that appears to be unvaccinated.
The Health Director hopes that by opening more walk-in clinics, younger people will be more likely to get the shot.
“We live in a time of convenience,” Schuyler said.
Among those getting vaccinated on Tuesday, was a group of 20-year-olds, who visited the new walk-in clinic.
“It was easy, just a little pinch,” Kaeli said.
She said it was important for her to get the vaccine, so she can help protect others.
“I work in the community, so I want to protect all our participants and their loved ones and family members,” she said.
The county Health Department says it is critical to get more residents vaccinated in order to combat growing COVID numbers and, in some cases, deaths.