SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As the race to vaccinate against COVID-19 continues, Schenectady County teamed up with Rivers Casino in an effort to get more shots into arms.
More than 1,100 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered Sunday. Marcia Walker, a Rotterdam resident, received one of those doses, calling her vaccination card a “golden ticket”. She says she was originally scheduled to get vaccinated later this month in Utica.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting, my husband and I. And finally when Schenectady County made this available to us, we were just thrilled,” she said.
This clinic comes shortly after appointments opened at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany. While eligible Schenectady County residents can sign up, county officials say it’s key to have vaccines closer to home.
“We have a lot of individuals who may be experiencing some kind of hardship to really get to Albany or other parts of the state to get that vaccination. I think it’s really important for people who live in Schenectady County to have vaccines available here in Schenectady County,” said Schenectady County Legislator Sara Mae Pratt.
Appointments filled up in less than 24 hours. The success of the first day could mean similar clinics at the casino in the future.
“If we continue to get large numbers of doses like we expect to, this is one of the sites that’s really going to work out rather well,” said Keith Brown, interim Public Health Director of Schenectady County.
For those who got their first dose Sunday, it was a chance to finally look ahead for better days to come.
“We like to travel, so possibly this year, end of this year, we’ll be able to do a little bit of traveling, now that we’ve got these golden tickets,” Walker said.
Those vaccinated Sunday will return to Rivers in three weeks to get their second dose.