At first, people were cautious, even worried about the COVID vaccines...but as the rollout continued, people we knew were getting vaccinated, with minimal side-effects.  Vaccinations appeared to be safe, and even a popular idea. The demand surged.

New York State is now allowing people who work public-facing essential jobs in a variety of areas and services to get vaccinated according to a story aired on WIVB-TV.

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A number of rural communities have been facing shortages of vaccines for weeks and the new eligibility guidelines will undoubtedly add to the burden.

“But, the supply versus the demand, is still a very real frustration, not just here in Niagara County but everywhere,” said Rebecca J. Wydysh Niagara County Legislature Chairman. “We have so many individuals from the original eligibility group who have still not been able to get an appointment. We have equity and accessibility issues, we have just simply not enough doses to go into the arms of everyone who wants a dose.”

If we look at the state figures, rural counties like Cattaraugus County have about 8 thousand people fully vaccinated, out of their nearly 76 thousand residents; Chautauqua County has about 14 thousand people fully vaccinated, out of more than 127 thousand.

In Niagara County,  with around 210 thousand residents, reportedly just over 24 thousand folks have been fully vaccinated to date.

“So, while we understand opening up eligibility and we need that to happen as we go forward, until we have the supply to meet that increased eligibility list, it really makes even more frustrations for people on top of where we already are. Wydysh says, she hopes the new state-run facility at the Conference and Event Center in Niagara Falls will help carry some of the vaccine burden. She says, it could possibly open this Friday."

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