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Tioga County Public Health overrun with vaccine questions, asks public to remain patient ahead of booked clinic

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OWEGO (WBNG) -- Health officials in Tioga County are asking the public to be patient as they gear up for a fully booked vaccination clinic tomorrow, unsure of when the next one will be held.

Kylie Holochak, Public Information Officer at Tioga County Public Health says there are no open slots for the clinic at UHS's Owego Primary Care office tomorrow, and they ask that people do not show up if you are not pre-registered. Registration for the clinic was opened late last week for those in Phase 1A, and filled up quickly.

While the wording of a news release sent out over the weekend led some to believe that clinic appointments would be opened up to those in Phase 1B this week, she says the county does not yet have enough vaccine to offer it to those individuals.

She stresses that while those in Phase 1B were approved to be vaccinated by the county isn't quite there yet, but they are actively planning for future distribution events.

"Once these clinics are opened up they will be first come first serve, so once they see a clinic announced people are going to have to go on and pre-register because we do anticipate the first few clinics we're running will fill up very quickly," she said.

As for when those additional clinics will be offered, she says it's a matter of waiting to find out when the county will receive their next shipment of vaccine. The answer to that question can only come from the Governor's office.

At that point the county can move forward with plans for another clinic.

"Figuring out things like exactly where those clinics may be held, and knowing exactly how much vaccine supply we're going to get at a certain time will allow us to open up a certain number of appointments," she said.

Holochak says the health department has been inundated with calls and emails over the past few days from people asking for information about the vaccine, and stresses that the county is sharing all of the information they have at this time with the public.

She asks that residents who are able follow the status of vaccination process on the health department's website or Facebook page, and we here at 12 News will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

Jack Arpey

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