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News of Otsego County

centers for disease control

Opinion by Charles Hyman, M.D.: Delta variant or not, vaccines are best option

Opinion by Charles Hyman, M.D. Delta variant or not, vaccines are best option

There is a lot in the news about the Delta variant of COVID-19 that is now spreading across the United States, threatening to move us back to a time of lockdown, universal masking and social distancing. With all this buzz, I wanted to offer my friends and neighbors some helpful background information. Namely: What is this Delta variant and how did it occur?

Playing Russian roulette with kids

Editorial

Playing Russian
roulette with kids

Just as the country thought it was safe to get rid of masks, COVID-19 has made a sudden, startling comeback.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the seven-day moving average of new cases for the week ended Aug. 6, stands at nearly 123,000 per day. The Associated Press has reported more than 44,000 people were hospitalized in the U.S. last weekend, a 30% increase from the prior week and four times the number in June. Daily deaths hover around 500, nearly twice the rate of two weeks ago.

Of those hospitalized, 97.5% are unvaccinated, a group that represents 99% of deaths. An unvaccinated person is 300 times more likely to die from COVID than one who is vaccinated. One infectious disease expert recently pointed out that for the unvaccinated it is “Not a matter of if you will contract the virus, only a matter of when.”

STERNBERG: If Offered J&J Vaccine, Take It, Stop 3rd Wave
LETTER from RICHARD STERNBERG

If Offered J&J Vaccine,
Take It, Stop 3rd Wave

erna
Richard Sternberg, retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, is providing his professional perspective weekly during the COVID-19
threat. A village trustee,
he resides in Cooperstown.

This past Sunday the Director of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approved the use of the COVID-vaccine produced by Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. The day before the FDA determined that the vaccine was safe and effective for the prevention of COVID-19 and gave it an EUA (emergency use authorization).

On Monday, the state Task Force unanimously recommended its use.

The entire current inventory of 3.9 million doses is scheduled to ship this week. J&J says it plans to manufacture enough additional doses to ship 16 million by the end of March. New York State is supposed to receive somewhere between 93,000 doses and 160,000 this week depending on whether you believe the Feds or the state. In any event, this is very good news.

There have been some concerns from some people; two called me today. They are concerned that this vaccine is not as effective as those already approved. They want to know if they should get the J&J vaccine now if available, or wait to get either the Moderna or Pfizer one.

The answer to that is a bit nuanced.

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