As more variants of COVID bombard Central New York and another round of mask mandates hit the state, many people are finding it necessary to travel in search of vaccines. Two groups are combining forces to streamline the vaccine and testing process into one location with appointments and walk-ins welcome six days a week. Our First Responder Friday Salute goes to these two selfless groups.

Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps (COCVAC) and Mohawk Valley Health Systems (MVHS) have established a Static Mass Vaccine Site at the Burrstone House 1710 Burrstone Road, New Hartford. The POD is open Monday through Saturday from seven to noon each day.

Thomas Meyers, Chief of EMS with COCVAC, says the program started in September when the state mandated vaccines for all hospital staff. The program, featuring Paramedics and Nurses working side by side distributing the shots and conducting tests worked so well they decided to open the site to the public.

Having nurses and Paramedics working side by side for the benefit of the community is amazing! They are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the communities we both serve are protected. These heroes are giving 110% to battle the pandemic and keeping people safe.

The site has been able to serve 250 to 300 people each day. Appointments can be made online or call 315-624-5048 and leave your name and phone number. Walk-ins are welcome for anyone who needs the first or second dose of any of the three vaccines. Anyone wanting the booster shot will need to preregister.

Do you know a first responder that deserves to be recognized? Tell us about someone who should be honored in Central New York - a firefighter, police officer, EMT, forest ranger, paramedic, DEC officers, military, rescuers, front line workers, or any other person first on the scene.

Include their name, a picture and why they should be recognized during 'First Responder Friday." We'll honor one first responder every Friday and as a way to say thank you, we'll give them a Bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

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