A COVID-19 vaccination site on Shelter Island is “looking pretty positive” and expected to be set up “sooner than later,” Supervisor Gerry Siller announced at Tuesday’s Town Board work session.
Island residents who want to receive the vaccine, should register with the town’s Code Red system found on the town webiste at shelterislandtown.us, and go to “Useful Links.” If they need assistance residents should call the Senior Center at 631-749-1059.
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services recorded 45 cases of COVID-19 for Shelter Island, but town estimates at least 10 more because of people on the Island who have contracted the virus have given other primary residences to officials.
Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams reminded those who have been vaccinated, or are scheduled to be vaccinated, to take their names off lists so they are not taking up appointments that could go to others who are waiting.
To fix issues related to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) has co-sponsored legislation that would prioritize eligibility for the inoculations.
If passed and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the bill would create an appointment process ensuring that people over 75 would now be a top priority.
In New York, those over 75 had only a single day to gain priority over those younger when the state lowered the age to 65. But those who are older are more likely to suffer from illnesses that compromise their immune systems, leaving them vulnerable to COVID-19.
In announcing the legislation, Mr. Thiele said the vaccine rollout “has been a hodgepodge” of providers and allocations.
It has created confusion about who can get the vaccine and how to access information on where inoculations are being administered.
People over 75 have been disproportionately unable to access the vaccine and many are not able to use computers to sign up for the inoculations.
The State Department of Health (DOH) would be instructed to provide those people with the opportunity to schedule appointments on the phone as well as online. “Currently, there is little correlation between public health need and getting a COVID vaccine appointment,” Mr. Thiele said.