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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”