SYRACUSE, N.Y.(NCC NEWS) — The first of four vaccination clinics in Syracuse City School District schools kicked off Wednesday morning, thanks to a partnership with Wegmans. The Public Service Leadership Academy at George Fowler High School hosted the clinic from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The vaccination clinics come after an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the region. Onondaga County has seen a 170% increase in COVID-19 cases in the past seven days according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of residents in Onondaga County with at least one vaccine dose is 64.8%, slightly higher than New York state’s 63.4% of residents with one dose.
Dan Romeo, the President of the Syracuse Board of Education, hopes events like these vaccine clinics will help students return to school. “It’s always disappointing to see a rising rate of infections. We know that the lower the infection rate, the better chances we have of going back to a normal school year for our students.”
Though held in city schools, the clinics aren’t only for students. Anyone ages 12 or older can go to the clinics and receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, free of charge. Walk-in appointments are accepted, but registration is available here.
Romeo said that helping the community was behind the decision to hold the four clinics at four different schools throughout the district. “We tried to spread them out through the district so we give equal opportunity to people in the neighborhoods and people that may not have transportation.”
Dave Florczyk from Wegmans’ Pharmacy Business Relations Department said the partnership with the Syracuse City School District helps Wegmans offer vaccine services that help the community. “We’re all over the community — wherever they contact us, if we can get a crew there, we’ve been going.” Florczyk noted that there has been “waning interest” in vaccinations recently, but he believes the interest is “starting to ramp up again with school getting closer.”
The second vaccination clinic was in Frazer Middle School Wednesday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The next two clinics will be held on August 6th in the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Lincoln Middle School from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.