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coronavirus vaccine

April 6, 2021 - 2:32pm

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An expert in pediatric infectious diseases with Rochester Regional Health is encouraging all young people, 16 years and older, to get vaccinated for COVID-19 but in Genesee County, for 16- and 17-year-olds, getting vaccinated is going to be more difficult.

Of the three vaccines being administered around the state and the nation are from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for 16- and 17-year-olds.

There are no clinics for the Pfizer vaccine planned for Genesee County, which means 16- and 17-year-olds looking to get vaccinated will need to travel Rochester or Buffalo to get the shot in the arm -- twice.

"We are encouraging the 16 and 17-year-olds to sign up for the state-run vaccine sites that provide the Pfizer vaccine which can vaccinate those who are 16 and older," said Nola Goodrich-Kresse, public information officer for the Genesee County Health Department.

There are several state-run clinics in our region, Goodrich-Kresse said.  Individuals aged 16 and 17 can check the state site for vaccine locations and check to make sure they are for the Pfizer vaccine.

"Currently, we do not know when or if Pfizer will be provided again locally," Goodrich-Kresse said.

Dr. Cynthia Christy, associate chief of pediatrics for Rochester General Hospital, who spoke to regional media yesterday to encourage young people to get vaccinated, acknowledged that COVID-19 poses little health risk to most young people but said people age 16 and older should consider what it could mean for people around them if they became contagious.

"I would imagine that teenagers do have the sense that nothing is going to impact them and that if they got it, they would be fine," Christy said. "So I think the angle for them is, well, what about your family? What about your grandparents? You probably would be fine if you got it, but this way will prevent you from impacting anyone you love."

For young people, who have been consistently less susceptible to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, the Pfizer vaccine is believed to be 100-percent effective, Christy said, and the side effects are minimal (slightly sore harm, possible low-grade fever).  

"As I said before," Christy said, "tell them 'let's bring this pandemic to an end, let's keep me from getting an infection, and let's keep my family and friends safe.' "

Photo: Dr. Cynthia Christy during video conference with regional media.

March 17, 2021 - 3:21pm

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The Genesee County Health Department brought a COVID-19 vaccine clinic to Washington Towers today for residents who can't get to a vaccination site.  

Office for the Aging organized the clinic, Washington Towers staff registered residents online and the health department sent over the providers to administer the vaccines for up to 50 residents.

The residents received the Pfizer vaccine with a second dose schedule for early April.

The clinic set up at 400 Towers yesterday.

"We are so excited to finally be able to help our residents who don’t have internet access and/or transportation to go to an off-site location to get vaccinated," said Director Valerie Tidwell.

March 5, 2021 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in coronavirus vaccine, covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

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We asked the State Health Department for a statement on why the GCC vaccination clinic was not open to just Genesee County residents and here is the response:

  • As with other non-FEMA, state-run mass vaccination sites, these are open to all eligible New Yorkers.
  • As the press release said, these are “short-term mass vaccination sites” – as more vaccine doses become available, we will review how these sites functioned to determine future allocations at these sites or at other short-term sites we may establish across the state.

Previously: 

Photos by Jim Burns

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March 4, 2021 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, coronavirus vaccine, notify.

Press release:

The New York State-run temporary mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic was opened for appointments this morning at 7:59 a.m. By 9:20 there were no appointments available, however that has been fluctuating. We encourage those who are seeking vaccination to periodically check the site as some may cancel their appointments or the system catches up.

“We realize this may be disappointing and frustrating for our local county residents as it is to us," said Paul Pettit, director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. "We will continue to advocate for increased vaccine allocations moving forward.” 

“Every dose of vaccine that comes to our counties are administered within the week of receipt. We will continue to call on the state to increase allocations to rural counties as our vaccination rates continue to lag in comparison to surrounding counties.”

As a reminder, these clinics are for those in priority groups 1A and 1B, and those 65 and older, or under 65 but at least 18 with co-morbidities.

You can check for appointment availability at https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or call 1-833-697-4829.

November 3, 2020 - 6:59am

Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, is determined to look beyond the rumors and posturing to make sure his department is ready when federal and state governments roll out the first phase of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“There’s a lot of chatter out there … locally, we’ll have our plan ready,” Pettit said on Monday afternoon as he advised the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee of the importance of three resolutions pertaining to the health department’s readiness to administer a vaccine.

The first resolution renews the county’s agreement with Genesee Community College to use the campus – at no charge -- as a Point of Dispensing Clinic during an emergency for the period of Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2023.

Pettit said GCC (possibly the new athletic facility) is an ideal site for distributing the vaccine, which he said likely will be made available in phases – first to elder care facilities such as nursing homes and then to healthier adults and children.

He mentioned that there could be up to 30 million doses by the end of the year, but didn’t know how many the county would get, speculating maybe 50 to 100 doses of the initial outlay. He noted that as the number of public vaccinations increase, private providers and pharmacies would be enlisted to support the health department’s efforts.

For smaller clinics, Pettit said the county already has the use of the fairgrounds and County Building II.

Pettit also responded to Legislator John Deleo’s comments about New York State wanting to review any federally approved vaccine before allowing it to be dispensed to its residents and about talk that the proposed vaccines are not sufficient for minorities.

That’s when he said he and his staff are focused not on the “chatter” but on making sure they are prepared when the time comes.

A second resolution was an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for the CDC to provide vaccine to the Genesee County Health Department at no cost to the county.

“This is the first step for us to receive the vaccine when it becomes available,” Pettit said, adding that he hasn’t heard of any vaccines that have cleared phase three of their trials yet.

A third resolution was a request to create a full-time COVID-19 Response Specialist, a Civil Service position, effective Nov. 12, 2020. The position would be funded by COVID-19 monies until June 30, 2022, at no cost to the county.

Pettit said coronavirus funding previously created one job and now the department needs this one, borrowing the title from a similar position in Wyoming County.

He said he wasn’t sure of the pay rate, thinking it was around $17 to $18 per hour, and noted that the job is tied to Orleans County and could lead to a full-time position.

Responsibilities of the Response Specialist would be to assist with contact tracing, testing and – eventually – vaccination. Pettit said the county continues to utilize the services of contact tracers employed by the state.

The Human Services Committee approved all three resolutions, which now will be forwarded to the Ways & Means Committee on Wednesday.

In a related development, the committee approved a contract renewal with Mary Younge of Rochester to provide nursing services on an as-needed basis for 2021. Pettit said Younge provided support to the county at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak in March, April and May.

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