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Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointments in Niagara Falls disappear in 19 minutes

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Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. 

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For about 200 lucky senior citizens, Monday was the day they've been waiting for, to obtain a Covid-19 vaccination appointment in Niagara Falls.

For others, the frustration continues.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center announced to the media Monday morning that it would post a link on its website at 2:30 p.m. for a "limited number" of Covid-19 vaccination appointments, reserved for those age 65 and over.

In 19 minutes, all the appointments were gone, medical center spokesman Patrick J. Bradley said.

The medical center received a small allocation of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine Monday.

"We'll going to be announcing more clinics as the vaccine becomes available," Bradley said.

Read the full story from News Staff Reporter Stephen T. Watson

The shots will be given at a clinic to be held Wednesday afternoon in the Niagara Falls Community Education Center, formerly the 60th Street School.

Meanwhile, Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton, who had announced last week that he expected to reserve up to 6,500 doses of vaccine for a clinic this week in Lockport, said Monday he's been told by state Health Department officials that he will receive only 800 doses.

Daniel Stapleton

Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton. 

However, the vaccine hasn't arrived yet, so the county has not yet posted appointments on its website. The county will be receiving Moderna vaccine, which requires two shots. The 800 doses Stapleton was promised Monday will be used for first doses.

Stapleton said the county has 820 Moderna doses in hand for a second-shot clinic Wednesday in Lockport.

"The process of vaccine distribution is really failing all of us," Stapleton said. "There's no rhyme or reason to it."

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"I think the vaccine logjam is really going to break into March and April, and we'll really be rolling," said Dr. Thomas Russo, chief of infectious diseases at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

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