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Vax Bus Will Be a Mobile Clinic to Encourage More Residents to Get Vaccinated

Rensselaer County is teaming up with the Capital District Transportation Authority in an innovative way to promote and support COVID-19 vaccinations this summer, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and CDTA Chief Executive Officer Carm Basile announced today.

The county and CDTA unveiled the Vax Bus during an announcement at CDTA headquarters. The Vax Bus is a full-size CDTA bus that advertises vaccinations and can also be used as a mobile clinic. The idea was developed by McLaughlin and supported by CDTA in recent weeks.

“Rensselaer County is committed to providing vaccinations to everyone, and this is a fun and convenient way to help more residents be vaccinated. The bus is the first of its kind in the area and we are excited about the Vax Bus partnership with CDTA,” said McLaughlin.

“We have had a great response from residents who have been vaccinated through county sites. We are now branching out to provide vaccines right at the grassroots level, during the events that make Rensselaer County a fun place during the summer,” added McLaughlin.

“We are happy to partner with Rensselaer County on bringing a vaccination bus to the community,” said CDTA CEO Carm Basile. “Connecting our communities to what matters in their life is at the core of what we do and making sure our region has access to getting vaccinated helps to let them make those connections once again. Beating this pandemic is everyone’s responsibility and we are fortunate to have so many great partners in the Capital Region working towards the same goal.”

“This partnership between Rensselaer County, CDTA and the Capital Region Vaccine Network exemplifies our region at its best,” said Dennis P. McKenna, M.D., President and CEO of the Albany Med Health System. “The Capital Region was the first in New York to administer first doses to half the eligible population, and we have continued to lead the way. Our success is thanks to the hard work of so many people dedicated to putting the pandemic behind us. Now is the time to reach our remaining neighbors who have yet to be vaccinated—wherever they are. To fill the seats, get back in the game, and get back to live life again, the vaccine is the only ticket we need. I applaud County Executive McLaughlin for spearheading this important effort.”

The Vax Bus will be used at a variety of events, concerts and appearances during the summer. The county has already announced 30 pop-up vaccination clinics that started earlier this month. The pop-ups include local summer concerts, seven Tri-City ValleyCats games, farmer’s markets and other community events.

Along with support the pop-up clinics, the Vax Bus will also make unannounced appearances at a variety of events, settings and locations, said county officials.

“There are a lot of great events throughout Rensselaer County during the summer and the Vax Bus will be part of many of those events and make getting vaccinated easier,” said McLaughlin.

The pop-up clinics are the main method of vaccination in the county, with the county recently suspending operations at the county’s main vaccination POD at Hudson Valley Community College. The county conducted several community vaccination clinics in Troy, Rensselaer and towns throughout the county during the winter and spring.

“We want to see more residents getting vaccinated and are doing our best to bring the vaccines right to the people,” said county Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.