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Was your COVID vaccine appointment canceled?

Erie County
Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein (top left) explains vaccine distribution in Tuesday's briefing.

The supply of COVID-19 vaccine continues to disrupt Erie County’s handling of the issue, even as the governor has expanded the list of essential workers entitled to the shots and the president is sending New York State 5% more vials.

The other night, some people in Albany misunderstood Erie County’s scheduling of a vaccination clinic and posted it on the web late in the evening. By the time, county workers figured out what was going on, 1,100 people had signed up for shots.

In a briefing Tuesday, Poloncarz said they will not be getting those shots because there are already 9,000 who signed up and had their vaccinations canceled, going back to Jan. 18. Not until those 9,000 get their shots will the county start to take new people, likely in March.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said replacement clinics are being scheduled.

"It’s a long slog. It’s very difficult with the state system. However, we are doing it," Burstein said. "Today, we have started to send out emails -- and we have to send out each email, one by one, for each canceled appointment -- that we’re trying to re-schedule to those individuals and we’re starting with the first day that we had to cancel vaccine appointments."

On the good side, Poloncarz said County Health Department workers have vaccinated more than 18,000 people so far and delivered more than 1,500 second-round shots to essential workers.

The shipment delivered to the county Tuesday was only 1,700 shots and that will be the same for the next two weeks. Earlier, the county was getting 2,500 shots a week.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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