As New York State rapidly approaches the milestone of distributing one million COVID-19 vaccines, one question has come to the forefront: “When can I get the vaccine?”
In the first nine days of 2021, the United States reported over two million new coronavirus cases, based on data from Johns Hopkins University. And cases are on the rise in Suffolk County, which recently surpassed 115,000 total cases.
Islip Town currently has the second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the county, behind Brookhaven Town. As of Jan. 11, Islip had 29,425 confirmed cases, according to the Suffolk County Department of Information Technology and New York State Department of Health. That’s about 88 cases per every 1,000 people.
In November 2020, Islip Town unveiled a pop-up COVID-19 drivethrough testing site in Brentwood. The free site was made available in partnership with Good Samaritan Hospital and funded through the Islip Community Development Agency.
Town supervisor Angie Carpenter said Monday, Jan. 11, that she is willing
to offer up the site to New York State as a potential vaccination location, but it
has not yet been established.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip has been conducting vaccinations, and South Shore University Hospital has begun offering vaccines at Fairfield Properties Ballpark in Central Islip, formerly known as Bethpage Ballpark, Carpenter said.
Another site is located at the Suffolk County Community College Brentwood campus. At least 543,147 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in over 400,000 hospitals and over 85,000 long-term care facilities throughout the state as of Jan. 9 as part of the state’s Phase 1A of vaccine rollout, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The state entered Phase 1B on Monday.
Town board member Mary Kate Mullen said she plans on receiving the
vaccine as soon as she meets the criteria to do so. She noted that the rise in
cases across Suffolk County is a direct result of Thanksgiving, Christmas and
New Year’s gatherings.
“Just look at the trend all over the country,” Mullen said. “It’s a very
difficult time – people are getting sick. And that vaccine can’t come quick
New York State officials last month launched a web app to determine when
state residents will be eligible for the vaccine. New Yorkers can visit https://
am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ to see when they can get the
two-dose shot and subscribe to digital updates about the vaccine. Phases are
determined by risk factor and medical need. Once eligible, residents can use the tool to locate a provider to administer the vaccine and schedule an appointment.
South Country Ambulance chief Gregory Miglino, who has already received the first dose of the vaccine, said the department is encouraging community members to receive the shot as soon as they’re able.
Miglino said the amount of ambulatory calls that the department currently receives is equal to, or more than, what they received last spring.
“We’re in a better position to assist our citizens because we have equipment
now. That being said, I fully anticipate that we are currently at the beginning
of this phase – not even close to hitting the end,” he added. “It will only get
worse from this point on unless people do what they’re being asked to do.”