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Madison County says it won’t conduct COVID-19 vaccine lottery due to lack of supply

By Adam Rombel (


WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. — Madison County government announced Thursday that it will not be using a lottery system to help get vaccines into the arms of people age 65 and over, because it isn’t receiving enough supply from the state to make it work.

The county says it has asked for 1,500 doses of vaccine per week from the state, but has received only 100 doses a week due to limited supply.

As a result, the Madison County Health Department is giving the small number of doses it has to phase 1(b) essential employees — such as police and firefighters, teachers and other school employees, corrections officers, childcare providers, and grocery store cashiers — whom it is contacting directly to schedule appointments.

“Madison County is not going to set up a lottery system. We are not going to give our residents false hope,” Madison County Board Chairman John M. Becker said in a release. “Please know that when more vaccine is available and we are able to vaccinate our 65 and older population we will make that information available. We know you are tired, as we are as well and extremely frustrated with this lack of vaccine rollout, but we ask for patience. We want to get everyone vaccinated.”

Since Dec. 31, Madison County has administered 1,900 doses of vaccine. On Thursday, the Health Department administered its first clinic of second doses to those who had received the jab four weeks prior.

The county says it is working closely with the Office of the Aging to identify people 65 and older who may have a difficult time signing up for clinics when they are available. Those who need assistance should call (315) 606-5080. The county also has a COVID-19 hotline set up at (315) 366-2770 to help people with appointments.

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