The Livingston County Department of Health has begun the first phase of COVID-19 vaccinations in Livingston County.

The department expects to vaccinate 200 people within the next week, said Public Health Director Jennifer Rodriguez.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is being given to individuals in Phase 1A of New York State’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

Fifty people were scheduled to be vaccinated at Wednesday’s clinic, the first to be scheduled, with future sessions scheduled through Friday and additional clinics planned in the future as ore vaccines become available.

While availability of the vaccine is limited in the initial weeks of the vaccination program, more and more Livingston County residents will become eligible as the vaccine supply increases, the county said in a news release.

According to the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program, vaccination recipients are prioritized into phases based on science, clinical expertise and federal guidelines. One of New York’s prioritization strategies for vaccine distribution is designed to ensure early vaccination of the most vulnerable New workers and essential populations.

The prioritized populations in Phase 1A include:

n All outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff such as intake staff that is in a position in which they have direct contact with patients.

n Eligibility includes, but is not limited to, individuals who work in private medical practices, hospital-affiliated medical practices, public health clinics, specialty medical practices of all types, dental practices of all types, dialysis workers, diagnostic and treatment centers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, phlebotomists, behavioral health workers and student health workers.

n All frontline, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, those handling COVID-19 lab specimens and COVID-19 vaccinations.

n Home care workers and aides, hospice workers, personal care aides and consumer-directed personal care workers.

n Staff and residents of nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and adult care facilities.

The Department of Health clinics are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in the county auditorium at 1 Murray Hill Drive in Mount Morris. The clinics are for all those listed in Phase 1A. There will no out-of-pocket expenses to be vaccinated. Those wishing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine must have an appointment, bring a photo ID and proof of employment. No walk-ins will be accepted.

To schedule an appointment, go to the county’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information webpage at https://tinyurl.com/y2c5z25o.

While the vaccination process is underway, everyone should wear a mask, social distance and avoid small and large gatherings.

Phase 1A begin in mid-December in New York State and is expected to continue for five weeks.

Two other locations in Livingston County have been scheduling COVID-19 Moderna vaccine inoculations for frontline health care workers. They include Tri-County Family Medicine and UR Medicine | Noyes Health’s Nicholas H. Noyes Hospital, both in Dansville.

To schedule at appointment at Tri-County Family Medicine, called the facility’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at (585) 432-2304 or (585) 432-2313.

UR Medicine | Noyes Health offers online registration at https://tinyurl.com/y3tzn6to.

“Along with our regional partners, we have been working on plans to distribute a vaccine since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis,” Rodriguez said. “Our goal is to quickly and safely distribute the vaccine to prioritized groups as it becomes available.”

It ay be several months before the vaccine is available for the general public, the county noted.

The New York State “Am I Eligible” tool will help individuals determine when they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If they are eligible, the tool, which is available at https://tinyurl.com/y4eetl3f, will connect them to locations and the individual will be able to schedule an appointment.

Future phases include:

n Phase 2: First responders, teachers, school staff, childcare providers, public health workers, essential frontline workers who regularly interact with the public or maintain critical infrastructure, other long-term care facility patients and individuals living in other congregate settings, and individuals in general population deemed particularly high risk due to co-morbidities and health conditions.

n Phase 3: Individuals older than 65 years old, and individuals younger than 65 with high-risk health conditions.

n Phase 4: All other essential workers.

n Phase 5: Remainder of the population.

For more information on the COVID-19 in Livingston County, call the county’s hotline at 1 (877) 280-6775 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.

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