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Maloney Leads Letters to New York State, FEMA, Calling for Increased Vaccine Supply in Orange County

Mar 8, 2021
Press Release

Maloney Leads Letters to New York State, FEMA, Calling for Increased Vaccine Supply in Orange County 

Newburgh, N.Y. – This week, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) led a group of local bipartisan Hudson Valley leaders in sending letters to both New York State and FEMA calling for an increase in vaccine availability in Orange County. State statistics show that Orange County currently maintains the second-lowest percentage of vaccinations per population out of all counties in New York State.

“Folks in Orange County – especially our seniors, New Yorkers with underlying health concerns, and our many first responders – police officers, paramedics, EMTs and firefighters, who have served New York and the Hudson Valley on the frontlines, need access to this vaccine,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “From the Orange County Executive to Mayors and Town Supervisors, the consensus is clear: Orange County needs more vaccine doses. We’re coming together across party lines and layers of government to call on the state and federal government to step up and increase their vaccine supply.” 

The letters were signed by Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, New York State Senator Mike Martucci, New York State Senator James Skoufis, Mayor of Middletown Joseph DeStefano, Mayor of Newburgh Torrance Harvey, Wallkill Supervisor Frank DenDanto, Montgomery Supervisor Brian Maher, and Cornwall Supervisor Richard Randazzo.

As of March 2nd, Orange County had 10.3% of the total population with at least one vaccine dose. This trails the statewide average by 4.9%, and the Mid-Hudson average by 4.4%. 

Orange County leaders have worked to increase the infrastructure and ability to vaccinate their residents, and the county stands prepared and ready to provide up to 10,000 vaccinations per day.  

Read the letter to New York State here and below:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo 

Governor of New York State 

NYS Capital Building 

Albany, NY 12224 

Dear Governor Cuomo:  

Many of our constituents have been successful in receiving vaccines here in the Hudson Valley, but today I write to address a concerning disparity between Orange County and the rest of the state. Per state statistics, Orange County is the second lowest percentage of vaccinations per population out of all counties in New York. As of March 2nd, the county had 10.3% of the total population with at least one vaccine dose. This trails the statewide average by 4.9%, and the Mid-Hudson average by 4.4%.  

Orange County, along with the rest of the municipal and county governments in my district, have been working hard to increase the infrastructure and ability to vaccinate their residents. Between the county health department, primary physicians and physician groups, town-sponsored vaccination programs, and healthcare organizations the county is prepared and ready to provide up to 10,000 vaccinations per day.  

Orange County has a large population of first responders – police officers, paramedics, EMTs and firefighters. These residents serve the lower Hudson Valley and the city boroughs keeping New York communities streets safe and our residents serviced. Orange County residents who are most in need of the vaccine, including seniors and those with comorbidities also suffer from hardships in trying to travel across county lines, or from rural county areas to cities to receive the vaccine. Increasing the supply in the county will allow these residents greater and easier access to the life-saving vaccine.  

Sincerely,  

Sean Patrick Maloney 
Member of Congress 

Read the letter to FEMA here and below:

Robert J. Fenton 
Senior Official Performing the Duties of FEMA Administrator 
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
500 C St. SW 
Washington, D.C. 20024 

Dear Mr. Fenton,  

I write to request your urgent attention to the concerningly low rate of COVID-19 vaccinations within Orange County, New York, and request you establish a FEMA-community-based vaccination site in the county to help improve access to the vaccine. 

Currently, only 10 percent of New Yorkers in Orange County have received a first or second dose vaccination, which places Orange County amongst the lowest rate of vaccination within New York State counties. Neighboring counties, including Westchester County, have found success with the state-FEMA community-based vaccination sites, but appointments are restricted to those certain zip-codes or communities, preventing access for Orange County resident.  

Orange County is diverse, with populous city centers, sprawling farmland, and rural areas. Many of my constituents are forced to travel for their medical care. Additionally, Orange County is home to a large number of veterans, many of whom are unable to get vaccinated at the nearby VA Medical Center because – despite having served – they do not qualify based on income restrictions set by the VA. There are several communities within Orange County that are historically underserved in care and are at greater risk of going unvaccinated without a robust vaccination center.  

Given the clear need for a vaccination site, I urge you to act with New York State health authorities to create a FEMA community-based vaccination site within Orange County. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter, and I look forward to your timely response.  

Sincerely,  

Sean Patrick Maloney 
Member of Congress 

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