Anyone 16 or older can now get vaccine

Hope in the form of a vaccine came in December. Nurse Michaele Dobson, right, administers the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to nurse Laura Hooker, of Wilmington, at the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake on Dec. 23. (News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

All New Yorkers age 16 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday, April 6.

Vaccines are being administered across the North Country at clinics run by the state Department of Health, county health departments and hospitals. Pharmacies such as Walgreens and Kinney Drugs are also taking appointments for vaccinations based on supply.

“As universal eligibility is going into effect, we will continue to work with local leaders to make sure all New Yorkers have access to our vaccination sites,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, April 5. “I also want to remind everyone that universal eligibility for the vaccine does not mean we are back to business as usual. The truth is millions of our neighbors still need to get their shot, and we are still in a footrace against the infection rate, so it is imperative that we do not let down our guard and we continue exercising safety protocols.”

All New Yorkers can visit http://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov or call 1-833-697-4829 to schedule a vaccine appointment at a state-run clinic. Essex County residents can find information on county-run clinics at http://www.co.essex.ny.us/health/make-an-appointment.

Where 16- and 17-year-olds should get vaccinated will depend on the vaccine being administered at each clinic, pharmacy or hospital, according to Franklin County Public Health. The one-shot Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) and two-shot Moderna vaccines are approved for those 18 and older, while the Pfizer is approved for those 16 and older, according to Franklin County Public Health. The Pfizer vaccine is commonly used at state Department of Health-run vaccine clinics — the closest sites are in Plattsburgh and Potsdam.

In Saranac Lake, Adirondack Health is hosting a vaccine clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 6 at Adirondack Medical Center. The clinic is open by appointment only to all New Yorkers over the age of 16, and over 100 appointments were still available as of Monday afternoon. To schedule an appointment, visit http://www.adirondackhealth.org/pages/vaccine.

The Essex County Health Department is hosting a few vaccine clinics this month, open by appointment to those ages 18 and up. There is a clinic at Keene Central School in Keene Valley on Wednesday, April 7. Free shuttle service to the clinic from Lake Placid is available. To get a ride there, call 518-873-3500 before scheduling an appointment. The Health Department is hosting a clinic on Tuesday, April 13 at the county Department of Public Works in Lewis and a clinic at the AuSable Community Center in Jay on April 23. There is also a vaccine clinic in Moriah scheduled for April 29. Residents can sign up for any of these clinics by visiting http://www.co.essex.ny.us/health/make-an-appointment.

Franklin County Public Health has scheduled a vaccine clinic on Friday, April 9 at the Holy Family School, 12 Homestead Park, Malone. It’s open by appointment to all New Yorkers over the age of 18. Details can be found on the Franklin County website or by calling one of two numbers: Those over the age of 60 can call 518-481-1526, and those under 60 can call 518-481-1111.

Children aren’t eligible to get vaccinated yet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved the vaccine for people under age 16 yet, but Pfizer has completed its clinical trial for children age 12 and older, and the FDA will review that data. Clinical trials focused on children aged 6 months through 11 years are ongoing.

The state opened eligibility up to New Yorkers above 16 years old nearly one month ahead of the Biden administration’s deadline to do so.