Erie County closed its three Covid-19 mass vaccination sites Friday.
The sites at the north and south campuses of SUNY Erie Community College were opened in January, when vaccine access was difficult for most people. The KeyBank Center site opened March 10.
“These sites were crucial in the first phase of vaccination operations to accommodate large numbers of people and meet that initial surge of Covid-19 vaccine demand,” Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said.
The county "will now focus on mobile clinic locations, including coming to events and farmers' markets near you," County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz tweeted Saturday.
For instance, both the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Canalside.
There are clinics from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday in North Collins Town Hall and from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at a car show in Akron.
Other clinics are planned July 10 at the Albright-Knox Northland Avenue site and July 17 at the Alden Farmers' Market.
Burstein said the effectiveness of the vaccine is shown by the tiny number of people who became ill from the virus after receiving shots.
Data from the state Health Department show that, of the 429,439 Erie County residents fully vaccinated from Jan. 18 through June 16, only 733 tested positive for the virus.
That's 0.0017%, or 17 out of every 10,000 vaccine recipients. The statewide figures for such breakthrough infections is 15 out of every 10,000.
The numbers "give us another piece of evidence that the available Covid-19 vaccines work and have a strong protective benefit for fully vaccinated people,” Burstein said.
Burstein said her department is launching two projects with community health workers and resettlement and refugee services agencies "to reach the hardest-to-reach residents with education and clinics.”
For all Erie County-run vaccine clinics, appointments are available through the county Health Department website or by calling 858-2929, but walk-ins are welcome.