Vaccination Update

February 4, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

As noted in national and state news, vaccine availability is expected to increase during the next few weeks. On Tuesday, the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) issued an update to its current vaccine plans, which reads in part:

“The Tompkins County Health Department received a total of 700 first doses for the week of February 1. Of the available doses, 600 will be offered to individuals eligible in Phase 1b who work in childcare, homeless shelters, public transit, and PreK-12 schools, as well as individuals living in a homeless shelter. 100 doses are designated by New York state for staff of facilities overseen by the OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities). As of January 23, New York state has instructed local health departments to prioritize administration of allocated COVID-19 vaccine doses to essential workers in Phase 1b. New York state has instructed local pharmacies to prioritize vaccinating those age 65 and over, and for hospitals to prioritize continuing to vaccinate healthcare workers in Phase 1a.”

If you are over the age of 65, TCHD is encouraging you to check with local pharmacies and state-run vaccination sites to schedule an appointment. You can find more information about pharmacies offering vaccine doses, and links to the pharmacy websites, on the TCHD website.

Additionally, the TCHD recently announced a series of virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A “Office Hours.” Visit the TCHD website to learn more about the series, including how to register.


Mary Opperman
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Gary Koretzky
Vice Provost for Academic Integration

Common Questions: I am eligible for a vaccine under Phase 1a or Phase 1b. Why can't I get an appointment?

Due to the limited number of vaccine doses available, the county has prioritized the eligible populations listed above. If your role at Cornell makes you eligible for a vaccine and you have been provided with documentation through the university process, please retain the form you were given. You will need it if you get an appointment at a state-run site or when our county is able to expand appointments.

If you are over age 65, continue to check with local pharmacies and state-run sites. For others who are eligible, continue to monitor state-run sites for available appointments. We will keep you informed as vaccines become more readily available in our community.

Additional News

The university has applied to become a point of dispensing (POD) for COVID-19 vaccinations. If and when we are approved, we will seek employee assistance to operate clinics and deliver vaccines. To prepare, please consider sharing any specialized skills and credentials you have that may make you eligible to administer vaccines. Learn more about whether you may be able to administer vaccines on the Human Resources website.

Additional Resources

General comments or questions can be sent to the university's COVID Support Center.

This newsletter is sent regularly to Cornell employees to provide timely updates on COVID-19 vaccination and related matters.