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> COVID19 2021-02-02 Vaccine Update 600 1B Doses Allocated This Week and Prioritized

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

For media inquiries:
Samantha Hillson, 607-274-6714, or
Dominick Recckio,

COVID-19 Vaccine Update: 600 1B Doses Allocated This Week, Prioritized for Homeless Shelters, Public Transit, Childcare, and P-12 Schools

(Ithaca, N.Y., February 2, 2021) – The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) received a total of 700 first doses for the week of February 1. 600 of the available doses will be offered to individuals eligible in phase 1b who work in childcare, the homeless shelter, public transit, and P-12 schools, as well as individuals living in a homeless shelter. 100 doses are designated by New York State for staff of facilities overseen by OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities). As of January 23, New York State has instructed Local Health Departments to prioritize administration of allocated COVID-19 vaccine doses to essential workers in phase 1b. New York State has instructed local pharmacies to prioritize vaccinating those aged 65 and over, and for hospitals to prioritize continuing to vaccinate healthcare workers in phase 1a.

The Health Department will release appointments to the prioritized groups listed above in phases. Each of these groups will have a pre-determined amount of time to register for appointments before the next group is provided the link. The online registration link will not be public and individuals in these groups should not forward the link to others who are not in these eligible groups. The links will be distributed through employers or association networks in each category.

“We continue to receive a limited supply of vaccines, though the State has indicated that we will have a steady distribution over the coming weeks and are planning accordingly. It is our goal to get as many people in our community vaccinated as quickly as possible and we continue to have capacity in partnership with Cayuga Health System to do so. This week, we are locally prioritizing childcare, homeless shelter, public transit, and P-12 school workers in phase 1b. Over the coming weeks, we plan to continue this method of local prioritization in phase 1b and communicate with the eligible populations directly,” stated Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa.

“In addition to the importance of in-person school for our children, childcare, homeless shelters, and public transit workers are key populations to keep our community running safely,“ continued Kruppa.

TCHD is working with community partners on more comprehensive distribution to individuals living in homeless shelters and will announce more details in the coming weeks.

If you are age 65 years and older, TCHD is encouraging you to check with local pharmacies and the State-run vaccination sites. You can find more information about pharmacies offering vaccine doses, and links to the pharmacy websites, on the TCHD website.

A comprehensive list of eligible priority populations in phase 1b can be found on the TCHD website and at the end of this release.

Announcements will be sent when vaccine is available for those eligible in phase 1a (healthcare workers). New York State will be distributing 300 additional vaccines for 1a to Cayuga Medical Center this week.

211 has partnered with TCHD to respond to public inquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine (dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-8667 from any phone). This includes general information and current eligibility requirements. Due to the current high demand for vaccine, 211 staff are unable to assist with appointment registration. 211 staff also do not have access to information on future clinics or have a waitlist.

The public is encouraged to sign up for:

Email alerts
Swift 911

Some pharmacies have alerts (for 65 and older): Click here

Prioritized eligible populations include:
  • P-12 Schools
    • P-12 school (public or non-public) or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, and support staff including bus drivers)
    • Contractor working in a P-12 school (public or non-public) or school district (including contracted bus drivers)
    • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group childcare
  • Childcare
    • Employees or Support Staff of Licensed, Registered, Approved or Legally Exempt Group Childcare Settings
    • Licensed, Registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare Provider
  • Public Transit
    • Airline and airport employee
    • Passenger railroad employee
    • Subway and mass transit employee (i.e., MTA, LIRR, Metro North, NYC Transit, Upstate transit)
    • Ferry employee
    • Port Authority employee
    • Public bus employee
  • Homeless Shelters
    • Individuals living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of your household.
    • Individuals working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents.

For local updates and information, check the TCHD website

The Tompkins County Health Department is your partner for a healthy community. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TompkinsHealth.