Oneida County Temporarily Closes COVID Pods


ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — After only receiving 500 COVID vaccines from the state yesterday, Oneida County has temporarily closed their pods at MVCC and Griffiss International Airport.

“Now the governor will say we don’t have enough because the Federal Government didn’t give us enough. They gave them enough for them, and in doing so took it away from us. Took it away from the counties.” -Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente goes on to say that opening more pods is great, but not if the vaccines aren’t distributed fairly. We asked how does the state decide how many doses to give each location?

“They will tell you it’s on a per capita basis, but that doesn’t make any sense to me if we started out in the first week with 3000 doses, 1300 the second week, 500 this week. I don’t know what the logic is.” – Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive

Picente says between both locations they’ve put out 500 vaccines a day and says they have the capacity to pump out even more.

“Give me 3,500 a week, give me 4,000 a week right now for these two pods. If that’s all you want me to operate right now give me 4,000 a week and we’ll get them out the door.” Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive

Mayor Robert Palmieri adds it should be less about who’s running the pods and more about getting the vaccines in the arms of New Yorkers.

“And it comes to a certain time, and we’re at that time, Done with pointing the fingers let’s just get it done. Let’s make sure that the people, our residents, have the ability to get the vaccine.” Major Robert Palmieri, (D)-Utica.

For now, the pods will have to keep their doors closed until they can get more doses. Picente is hoping they can reopen by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

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