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Dutchess County residents traveling hours to get vaccine

John Latino, a teacher at Spackenkill Schools in Poughkeepsie, made the roughly three-hour trip from to Binghamton to get his doses.

News 12 Staff

Mar 11, 2021, 7:06 PM

Updated 1,198 days ago

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More Hudson Valley residents are making the trip far and wide to get their dose of the COVID vaccine.
Not only are people traveling out of state, but some are even making the hours-long trip within New York to get their shot.
The Westchester County Center is one of three state mass vaccination sites in the Mid-Hudson region. Gov. Cuomo just announced the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz and SUNY Orange in Middletown will be opening in the coming weeks.
But Dutchess County still does not have a vaccine site, and that is something the County Executive Marc Molinaro has been pushing for.
According to numbers on the county’s website to track the number of vaccines, the county is receiving only about 1,200 doses for the more than 50,000 residents who are eligible.
That’s why residents like John Latino, a teacher at Spackenkill Schools in Poughkeepsie, made the roughly three-hour trip from to Binghamton to get his doses.
He just returned from receiving his second and final dose on Monday night. “Quite frankly, I wanted it. I want to be with my family and I think that was in the back of my mind, I don’t think the drive bothered me at all, so this was an opportunity to get the shot. So I think it was a great opportunity; so I was kind of excited."
Molinaro says they currently vaccinating less than 8,000-10,000 people every week throughout the county with first and second doses.
The former JC Penney store in the Poughkeepsie Galleria is a major driver, vaccinating 1,000 people every week there. But he says if the state can join them to expand that site, they can vaccinate five times that number. "We're confident that we'll see increased capacity. We believe that the JC Penney site is being considered and that'll happen there will be easier access. Over the next couple of weeks, you're going to see significant increases in doses from the federal government to the states from states to local distribution points…it is going to ramp up very, very quickly," says Molinaro.
This could help alleviate travel times for many residents who are driving well over an hour, out of the region, to get their doses at the Javits Center or in Binghamton, Albany or Syracuse.


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