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A Better Investment Would Be To Straighten Out The Vaccine Appointment System

Getting New York’s economy back on track was a key part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s four-part miniseries of a State of the State address last week.

That’s great, because there has been a lot of pain caused by the state’s COVID-19 shutdowns and limitations. Arts and entertainment, a big driver of tourism dollars here in Chautauqua County, could stand to benefit from the state’s focus.

Rapid testing, such as that used to allow fans at Buffalo Bills’ playoff games, is one way to get the economy open again. Those efforts should be supported. Not only have COVID closures hurt businesses and peoples’ livelihoods, but it has placed tremendous strain on the family bonds of those who have loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The other thing that would help is a faster rate of vaccination. New York is limited by the paltry 300,000 doses of COVID vaccines it is receiving from the federal government each week, but state residents shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the largely broken process they are dealing with right now.

In some parts of the state appointments to receive a COVID vaccine are now booked solidly into April. Many people are struggling to navigate the vaccine appointment scheduling system, and county health departments seem left in the dark when it comes to the whole mess.

Rather than spending a mess of money on infrastructure this year, it would be a better investment of state dollars to hire the people necessary to straighten out vaccine appointment system. Vaccinating state residents so that life can begin returning to whatever normal will be post-COVID will do as much for the economy as anything else the governor has planned.

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