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Reed expects vaccination site to come soon to region

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed said this morning it is highly likely a mass vaccination site for COVID-19 will be coming to the Southern Tier, likely Chautauqua County. His comments come after a report earlier this week that a planned site was rejected by New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“I’m glad we called him out,” Reed said about Cuomo. “We stood up to the bully.”

He expressed his disappointment, throughout the early moments of the call, for the governor denying the plan for the site. “My ideal goal would be a mass vaccination site that can do 1,000 shots a day,” said the Corning Republican.

Will Burns, first deputy press secretary for Cuomo, said Tuesday the state was unaware of any such plan for a site, first reported Monday morning by NBC News.

“FEMA and the CDC set forth criteria for which counties and communities were eligible based on social vulnerability index and vaccination rates, as well as, other factors put forward by the federal government, and dozens of locations across the state met those criteria,” he said in a statement. “We wish we had the supply to do a site in each of those locations. It is false that any plans for a mass vaccination site in Chautauqua County were canceled, and the state is unaware of any such plans for such a site. None existed.

“New York state selected areas that best fit the criteria for increasing equitable vaccination access in communities where access is lowest, hesitancy rates are the highest, and vaccination rates are below average. We look forward to continuing to partner with local health departments and providers as we explore all options to get more shots in arms faster as the federal government increases the supply of vaccines.”

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