Build Back Better
The U.S. House of Representatives voted November 19 to approve President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, a $2 trillion package comprising major elements including funding for clean energy, universal pre-Kindergarten, healthcare, affordable housing, and eldercare.
For New York and other high-tax states, the measure would raise the cap on the state and local tax deduction (SALT) from $10,000 to $80,000, starting in tax year 2021. The expanded cap would stay in place through 2030, falling back to $10,000 in 2031.
Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) voted in favor of “Build Back Better,” Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) voted against.
The measure now stands for consideration in the U.S. Senate.
Basset offers kid vax as County COVID rates rise
Bassett Healthcare Network now offers COVID-19 vaccines to everyone aged five and older, with shots now available for children aged 5 through 11 at pediatric and school-based health clinics in the region.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for patients aged 5 through 11 late in October. Young patients receive the Pfizer vaccine in two doses, three weeks apart, just like older children and adults. The vaccine dose is, however, lower — 10 micrograms instead of the 30 micrograms given to those 12 and older. Data show the vaccine as 90% effective for preventing COVID in children.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment,” Dr. Monica Brané, chief of Pediatrics at Bassett Healthcare Network, said. “Finally, our children have a safe and effective vaccine to help protect them and their loved ones against COVID-19. As a mother, as a doctor, and as a community member, I know that getting our kids vaccinated is one of the most important things we can do right now to take another major step towards beating this pandemic. It’s one of the most incredible gifts we could ever hope for ahead of the holiday season.”
Bassett Healthcare also offers COVID-19 booster shots in all its clinic locations for adults eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
Visit www.bassett.org for a full list of upcoming walk-in community vaccine clinics (for both COVID-19 and flu shots).
Vaccine availability updates come as Otsego County reports 28 new reported cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, November 22, with seven hospitalized.
County Public Health Director Heidi Bond said Tuesday that 23 percent of the new cases come from those between the ages of 5 and 18 years old.
Officials throughout New York, wary of the potential for holiday season transmission, have expressed concern over recent spikes in COVID numbers. Erie County in Western New York this week imposed a mask mandate for all public indoor spaces regardless of a person’s vaccination status; other counties in areas of rising caseloads are reportedly considering similar strategies.
Otsego County continues to recommend mask wearing, but Ms. Bond said Tuesday she does not foresee a county mask mandate.