Rochester, N.Y. — The days of COVID booster shots in Monroe County are near.
And to help distribute them, Monroe County will reopen mass vaccination sites.
Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza and County Executive Adam Bello made the announcement Thursday.
The first time around, the Rochester Riverside Convention Center was used by Monroe County to distribute COVID shots. For the next round, the task may be even bigger.
“This is going to be a Herculean effort,” Bello said. “The number of doses of vaccine we administered over a much longer period of time. What we’re looking at right now is, because it’s compressed, there are people well beyond their eight months of when they’ve received their dose. There’s a compression we know we’re going to have to deal with.”
The sites could open later this month. To get the job done, the county is looking for 100 qualified candidates to help out. Pay will range from $17.50 to over $28 an hour depending on the job.”
“We know exactly how many people we need. We have all the job titles and know exactly where we need to place people,” Bello said. “It’s a range of people. It’s not just nurses [who] can administer doses of vaccine. It’s clerks, EMTs, a whole range of different folks with backgrounds and skill sets.”
The county will determine over the next three weeks where they will place the mass vaccination sites.
Officials say 453,000 people in Monroe County have received at least one dose of vaccine while 485,000 have completed the series. County officials anticipate a lot of demand for booster shots.
“We know the first week of October we’ll begin to see that initial first wave occur, and we’ll have to step up these mass vaccination efforts,” Bello said. “We know that’ll stay relatively steady until right about Thanksgiving and once we get to then, through Christmas, we’ll have an awful lot of people looking for those doses and we want to make sure we have a position to administer those.”
Monroe County reported 99 new cases Wednesday. It was the first time in weeks the daily count had dropped below 100. But on Thursday, it reported 169 new cases and a seven-day average of 142 new cases per day.
“The reality now is that the rising case numbers mostly threaten our ability to keep our schools open,” Dr. Mendoza said.
This is a developing story. 13WHAM will provide updates as they become available.