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News of Otsego County

Vaccine

COVID and kids: disparate strategies point to need for vaccine

COVID and kids
Disparate strategies point to need for vaccine

By Richard Sternberg M.D.

The amount of information regarding COVID in children and the risks and benefits of vaccination is overwhelming and as reported even varies from country to country.

There is no clear-cut consensus on anything in the younger age groups other than that the risk of developing a case requiring treatment, hospitalization, or leading to death is lower if the patient is younger. Still, the risks of vaccine complications in the very young have so far been trivial, with no deaths or hospitalizations in pre-clinical studies reported in the United States.

A Local Polio Pioneer
Ellen Feury Levine, Polio Pioneer

A Local Polio Pioneer

In 1954, Ellen Feury Levine, of Cooperstown, became a pioneer. Ellen and the rest of her second grade class at Cooperstown Central School received shots in the first national tests of a trial polio vaccine.

Levine had joined the decades-long, national effort to defeat a virus that ravaged thousands and worried millions of Americans for decades.

Booster shot being offered at clinic at Meadows Office Complex in Middlefield

Booster shot being offered
at clinic at Meadows Office Complex
in Middlefield

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Otsego County Department of Health is offering a clinic for the COVID booster shot on Friday, Oct. 8 between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Meadows Office Complex in Middlefield.

Pre-registration is required. Go to www.otsegocounty.com/departments/d-m/health_department/covid-19_vaccination_clinics.php to register or see if eligible.

 

 

 

 

Letter by Jennifer Hill: Don’t send prayers, just get vaccinated

Letter by Jennifer Hill
Don’t send prayers, just get vaccinated

Almost three weeks ago, my 84 year-old father and 83 year-old mother tested positive for COVID-19. They were breakthrough cases. My mother had no symptoms, but my father, who has asthma and an irregular heartbeat, had shortness of breath, chest congestion and light-headedness. He was given powerful flu medicine to alleviate his symptoms and because of his chronic medical conditions and his age, he received a monoclonal antibody infusion, a cocktail of manmade proteins designed to boost a person’s immune system to fight off viruses. Both made him feel much better and he felt he had recovered several days later.

Protesters against vaccine mandate march to A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta
Anti-vaccine protesters leaving Neahwa Park in Oneonta on Friday, Sept. 17. (Kevin Limit/AllOtsego).

Protesters against vaccine mandate march to A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA — Hundreds of protesters, along with Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, marched to A.O. Fox Hospital and through Main Street Friday, Sept. 17, to protest the vaccine mandate put in place for healthcare workers.

The protesters chanted slogans such as “stop the mandate” as they walked through downtown Oneonta towards the hospital. There were signs that said “unmask our children” and “protect our liberties.”

The vaccine mandate from Bassett Healthcare was in response to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mandate that all healthcare workers should be vaccinated.

Prior to the march, the protesters rallied at Damaschke Field.

“I’m here to support the medical professionals and support their right to not have an injection they’re not confident,” Salka told AllOtsego.com. “Last year they were heroes, this year they’re zeroes.”

Editorial: Live free and die?

Editorial
Live free and die?

With the news this week that the Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville was going to “pause” operations of its maternity services because of the resignations of several members of that department who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the not unexpected consequences of the recent New York state and federal mandates for healthcare workers suddenly hit very close to home. While it is certainly difficult to envision both the future of these workers when no other work options exist under the circumstances and the potentially disastrous impact of the mandates on a notoriously understaffed profession, one cannot help but wonder what possible reason these workers have for surrendering their professions by refusing a vaccine that has been well proven as safe and effective, and is without question saving millions of people from a devastating disease and a gruesome, untimely death.

Utica judge blocks New York State from mandating vaccines for health care workers

Utica judge blocks New York State from mandating vaccines for health care workers

Staff Report • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The AP reported Tuesday, Sept. 14, that a federal judge in Utica has temporarily blocked New York State from requiring vaccinations for health care workers regardless of a religious exemption.

The decision came after a group of doctors and nurses filed a lawsuit claiming the mandate was a violation of their rights.

COVID breakdown for August

COVID breakdown for August

Staff Report • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Otsego County had an increasing number of COVID cases in August. Community transmission is considered high.

According to the Otsego County Department of Health (DOH), there 380 total cases in August with 52% unvaccinated and 48% vaccinated. Everyone hospitalized due to COVID, a total of six people, were unvaccinated individuals, including the two most recent deaths locally from the virus.

The majority of cases occurred in people between the ages of 25 and 55.

In addition, there have been almost 60 new cases reported in the past two days, 30 on Friday, Sept. 3, and 29 on Thursday, Sept. 2. That brings the total active number of cases in Otsego County to 134, a positivity rate of 5.5%.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public regardless of vaccination status in order to protect from the delta variant as well as to avoid spreading it to others.

The Otsego County DOH recommends getting the vaccine as it greatly reduces the likelihood of hospitalization and is considered the most effective tool against the COVID virus.

 

Letter by Dan Butterman: Vaccines are safe, effective and helping us get back to life

Letter by Dan Butterman:
Vaccines are safe, effective
and helping us get back to life

My 12-year-old daughter just got the COVID-19 vaccine. As soon as the guidelines changed to make 12-year-olds eligible, she declared that she wanted the vaccine on her birthday. So, we made it a family excursion, just as though she were getting her ears pierced, and now she’s protected.

She is not the only 12-year-old I know who has stepped up to take that shot. Most of her eligible friends have stepped up as well. Our so-called leaders with their misinformation campaigns have failed to guide our children. I see children willing to do their part to help end this horrific virus. They have done virtual school, missed birthday parties, and distanced themselves from friends and grandparents, and they are tired of all of it.

Healthcare workers must now get COVID vaccine

Healthcare workers must now get COVID vaccine

Staff Report • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

All healthcare workers in New York State will now be required to get the COVID vaccine with the first dose being received no later than Monday, Sept. 27.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this on Tuesday, Aug. 17, and it applies to hospital workers as well as long-term care facilities such as nursing homes.

There will be limited exceptions for either religious or medical reasons.

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim at Bassett Healthcare stressed in an internal email the importance of getting the vaccine to hospital staff.

Oneonta city school district will hold vaccine clinic

Oneonta City School District will hold vaccine clinic

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

A school based COVID-19 vaccination program for students is being established by the Oneonta city School District in partnership with the Otsego County Department of Health.

Students ages 12 and older will be able to receive the Pfizer vaccination at no cost.

According to a survey organized by the Oneonta school district, at least 200 parents had expressed an interest in participating with the vaccination clinic.

Vaccine clinics at local schools

Vaccine clinics at local schools

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Otsego County Department of Health announced Thursday, May 6, that it would be setting up vaccine clinics at several county schools.

Residents 16 and up will be eligible for vaccinations.

Participating schools include Cherry Valley-Springfield, Richfield Springs, Schenevus and Morris. The clinics will be open from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Go to www.otsegocounty.com/departments/d-m/health_department/covid-19_vaccination_clinics.php for more information.

HYMAN: It Looks Like It’s Only Going To Get Better
LETTER from CHARLES HYMAN

It Looks Like It’s Only Going To Get Better

Charles Hyman, M.D., who served for a decade as Bassett Hospital’s chief of medicine, is an expert in infectious diseases serving on the team that prepared for coronavirus’ arrival.

It’s time for hope.

The fact that we now have two incredibly effective COVID vaccines approved by the FDA (with more on the way) is amazing and heartening to me. Those responsible for that speedy development with such fantastic efficacy deserve high praise, and our thanks.

Let’s talk about what comes next.

• Understanding the Shot
The remarkable speed of development of these COVID vaccines makes some of us understandably wary and concerned as to whether corners were cut.

I believe the answer to this is: “No.”

Researchers sped up their trials by using existing clinical trial networks. Drug companies assumed a financial risk by beginning manufacturing while the trials were taking place. And the FDA and CDC let the vaccines cut in line, setting aside other reviews and approvals.

In that way, labs, businesses, and government agencies accelerated the process without sacrificing safety protocols.

Appointments Available Now: BU and SUNY Poly

COVID VACCINATION CENTRAL

Appointments Available

Now: BU and SUNY Poly

Click Here For ‘Am I Eligible’ App

Editor’s Note:  www.AllOTSEGO.com will seek to keep you up to date on the availability of vaccinations against COVID-19.  We will strive to update our information at noon daily.

As of noon today, there are now four  New York State special sites still accepting appointments in Potsdam, Syracuse, Johnson City and Utica.

According to the NYS website, “The Federal Government determines how much vaccine New York State receives and has given New York approximately 250,000 vaccines per week for over 7 million people who are eligible – as a result, supply is very limited.

Vaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments – please contact the provider of your choice to schedule a vaccine appointment.”

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