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Islanders still without COVID vaccine: Other East End towns also without supply

Shelter Island residents are still on hold when it comes to having COVID-19 vaccinations in town, joining other East End communities that have generally not had much if any vaccine to administer.

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services shows 42 cases on Shelter Island, but Police Chief Jim Read has said a number of people on the Island reported their permanent addresses elsewhere. He believes the actual number is more than 50 cases.

The nearest sites for vaccinations have been Riverhead and Stony Brook. However, many of those who have been able to get vaccinations in Riverhead have been told they can’t yet sign up for a second inoculation, leaving them in limbo if there is an extensive break between the first and second shots.

In the case of the Moderna vaccine, the waiting period between inoculations is four weeks, while the second inoculation of the Pfizer vaccine is supposed to be administered three weeks after the first.

Stony Brook is currently being listed with no open appointments.

Some CVS, Walgreen’s and Rite Aid pharmacies are on the list to provide inoculations, but none are on the East End, and even those farther west on Long Island are showing no openings.

Toward the end of last week, there were a few openings at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead, but those were rapidly scheduled.

Shelter Island officials were told last week they are prioritized for being able to have the vaccine administered within the town, but that information has yet to bear fruit.

The town website posts changes day to day, and the Police Department is using the Code Red system for people wishing to get the vaccine to register.

Dr. Josh Potter continues to conduct COVID-19 testing at the Medical Center on Wednesdays with a virtual visit for screening in the morning and testing by appointment only in the afternoon. Those wishing to be tested can make appointments by calling Dr. Potter’s office at 631-749 9140.

Dr. Peter Kelt is doing antibody testing that will inform those who take the blood test to know if they have had COVID-19, even if they haven’t been symptomatic. Those wishing to take the antibody test must make an appointment with Dr. Kelt at 631-749 9130.

Rapid testing for students and staff has been administered by School Nurse Mary Kanarvogel. School is closed this week.

The Reporter will continue to monitor vaccine availability and provide updates on its website.