Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Keep six feet apart. We have all been doing these for over a year now to keep ourselves and others safe. Last year we all lived with doubt and fears about this COVID pandemic and wondered if our lives would ever return to normal. There is now hope that all who want to be vaccinated can be, quickly and easily, thanks to the efforts of County Executive Pat Ryan and the Ulster County Department of Health. We have a vaccine center very close to Gardiner now at the Ulster County Fairgrounds on Libertyville Rd in New Paltz. Making an appointment to get a vaccine there is fairly simple. You can either go to the center which is offering walk-in vaccines or make an appointment online at am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov. Click on “Get Started”. Once you fill in your zip code, it will show an option to make an appointment at the Ulster County Fairgrounds at 249 Libertyville Road. After your appointment has been scheduled, you are required to complete the NYS Vaccine Form at forms.ny.gov/s3/vaccine. Ulster County will send you a CDMS Registration ticket with a bar code on it via email. This paper needs to be shown at your appointment along with a copy of the NYS Vaccine Form, an insurance card, and a photo ID.
After registering online, I was given an appointment for my first shot of vaccine at the Ulster Fairgrounds on March 28th. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the site was set up and organized because I had heard of people standing in long lines for hours at other vaccine centers in New York State. When I parked my car in the big parking lot, I had an option to either take the shuttle or walk to the vaccine center. It was nice out, so I walked. At the entrance of the Vaccine Center, I was greeted by a man in Army fatigues who asked me to read some questions on a placard as he took my temperature. When I entered the Vaccine Center, I was checked in and led to a seat with two friendly healthcare volunteers, Sally and Jane. They administered the vaccine after asking a few brief questions and gave me a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card that showed that I had received the 1st Dose and also designated the date of my next appointment for the 2nd dose, three weeks later. I thanked Sally and Jane for their service, and they said they felt honored to serve the community during this difficult time and were glad they could help by vaccinating others. Sally put two stickers on me. One sticker said “I was vaccinated”, and on the other was the time I should leave the site, which was 15 minutes after the time I was vaccinated; the NYS guidelines recommends that everyone vaccinated sit for 15 minutes just in case someone has an allergic reaction to the vaccine, even though such a reaction is an extremely low probability. Thankfully, I had no immediate reaction and left after the 15 minutes had passed,
The entire experience was easy and stress-free. In less than 10 minutes from the moment I had parked my car, I was vaccinated and in less than half an hour I was back in my car which is impressive since I can’t get in and out of Hannafords in that amount of time. Consequently, I would highly recommend others get vaccinated at the Ulster County Fairgrounds Vaccine Center.