Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, Thursday, outlined a plan that establishes a pre-registration and prioritization list for all residents eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. With the announced expansion of the eligibility list from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) this week to include those with comorbidities, the number of those eligible within Ulster County will expand significantly from 70,000 through Phases 1A and 1B, to 120,000 residents starting on February 15th. This means that over two-thirds of the county’s residents are eligible for the vaccine, despite the very limited supply being allocated to the county by New York State.
This week, New York State allocated a total of 1,500 vaccines to Ulster County, split between Ulster County’s Health Department, private pharmacies, and local health providers. This represents a reduction of over 20% from the week prior. Ulster County currently has the capacity to vaccinate up to 50,000 people a month but lacks the needed supply.
“Given the very limited supply of vaccine that we are receiving from New York State, it’s critical that we prioritize those at greatest risk within our community. Implementing our pre-registration and prioritization list for the 120,000 residents now eligible for vaccination is an important step to both prioritize those most in need and to help all residents better understand when they will be able to receive a vaccine,” Ryan said. “I am hopeful that we will receive additional vaccine supply from the State and Federal government soon. We remain ready and able to scale up our distribution efforts immediately, administering up to 50,000 doses per month. I will continue to advocate to State and Federal representatives to ensure that we get the vaccines that we so urgently need.”
The prioritization list, created by the Ulster County Department of Health based on CDC and New York State DOH guidance and in consultation with infectious control physicians and leaders in the region, outlines the following groups based on health risk:
• Group Red - Residents over the age of 75 with a qualifying health condition, and 1B essential workers with an underlying condition
- Estimated time for vaccination: April
• Group Orange - Residents ages 65 to 74 with an underlying health condition, and essential workers without an underlying health condition
- Estimated time for vaccination: June*
• Group Yellow - Adults (all ages) with a qualifying health condition, and 65 + without qualifying health condition
- Estimated time for vaccination: October*
• Group Green - Any other priority group as directed by the NYSDOH
- Estimated time for vaccination: TBD
*Estimated times of vaccination are based on the current supply of vaccines.
As directed by the NYSDOH, adults over the age of 65 without a qualifying health condition should receive their vaccines at participating pharmacies or by making an appointment at a state-run vaccination site.
Residents looking to join the pre-registration list should go to VaccinateUlster.com to signup. Residents who have already signed up will be provided information on their vaccination group and follow-on instructions within the coming days.
Ninety-two percent of total fatalities from COVID-19 in New York State have come from individuals with at least one underlying health condition. The overwhelming majority of those are from residents over the age of 65.