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As school year approaches, Common Ground Health encourages parents ensure immunizations up-to-date

By Press Release

Press release:

As students across the region prepare to return to school in September, parents are encouraged to make sure their children’s immunizations are up to date. In New York state, several immunizations are required within 14 days of the first day of school or child care.

For school attendance, child care and pre-K, students need:

  • Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP or Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine
  • Polio vaccine
  • Chickenpox vaccine

Additional vaccines are required for middle school and high school students:

  • Tdap vaccine for grades 6-12
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for grades 7-12 (students in grade 12 need an additional booster dose of MenACWY on or after their 16th birthday)

Public health officials also urge parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19, as the vaccines are the best protection against severe illness or hospitalization from the disease. Children from six months to young adults up to age 18 are now eligible to receive the shots. Talk to your pediatrician if you have questions about the COVID vaccine or kids’ booster doses, or visit

Dr. Linda Clark, chief medical officer at Common Ground Health, said, “Going back to school is an exciting time for many students. To make sure they can return to the classroom, parents need to ensure that their children’s immunizations are current. If not, they should schedule appointments with their physician as soon as possible. If they aren’t sure, they should check with their pediatrician or primary care doctor.”

Children attending daycare and pre-K through 12th grade in New York state must receive all required doses of vaccines on the recommended schedule in order to attend or remain in school. Parents need to show proof of their child's up-to-date vaccinations or provide a valid medical exemption from vaccination.

National Infant Immunization Week starts Sunday

By Press Release

Press release:

National Infant Immunization Week is April 24-30, 2022. This is an annual observance highlighting the importance of protecting children two years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases. In the spirit of National Infant Immunization Week, we encourage parents and caregivers to take time to learn about vaccines.  

“Childhood vaccinations are one of the best ways to protect infants and children from vaccine-preventable diseases before the age of two,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). Vaccinations not only play a key role in protecting our children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, mumps and the measles, they also protect our community. They are the most successful and cost-effective public health tool available for preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases as well as preventing death.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some infants and children have missed or delayed routinely recommended vaccinations. “Children who may have missed or skipped vaccinations may be at an increased risk of diseases like whooping cough (pertussis) and the measles, which can be serious,” stated Pettit. “That is why it is important to stay on track with well-child visits and the recommended vaccination schedule. Please check with your healthcare provider to make sure your children are up to date on their routine vaccinations.”

To learn more about vaccinations and to view the latest immunization schedule visit or speak with your healthcare provider.

For more information on GO Health’s Immunization Clinics, visit You can also contact your respective health department:

Two pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled in Genesee County next week, plus a rapid test clinic

By Press Release

Press release:

Next week’s Pop-up Clinics are now all available for walk-in and registration.

“We are happy to be able to continue providing the Pop-up Clinics to our Genesee and Orleans County residents,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for GO Health. “As a reminder the Pfizer vaccine is for anyone 12 years old and older.

"Moderna and Pfizer are two doses and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Janssen vaccine is a one-and-done vaccine. People are considered to be fully vaccinated after two weeks following their last dose of the two-series vaccines and two weeks after the J&J vaccine.”

Pfizer, J&J and Moderna clinics offer walk-in opportunities; however, we encourage you to register via links belowand choose the vaccine that best works for you to guarantee your dose and make your appointment quick and easy. Walk-ins are available on a first come, first serve basis. You can also click on the direct links below.

For those who do not have internet they can call the GO Health Vaccine Registration Help Lines:

  • Genesee: (585) 815-7168
  • Orleans: (585) 589-3170

These lines are ONLY to make vaccine appointments, are not able to answer COVID-19-related questions, and are not associated with either Health Department.

“As more people to get vaccinated we are seeing people enjoy activities with fewer restrictions,” Pettit said. “There continue to be plenty of options to get any of the three vaccines offered.”

If you are a business/church/organization that is interested in hosting a vaccination clinic at your location, please fill out the survey. One of our staff members will be in contact with you.

For those who are seeking testing, both health departments provide limited free rapid testing for those without symptoms at the respective Health Departments.

For Genesee County, a rapid test drive-through clinic is scheduled for June 10th 1:15 - 2:15 p.m. at County Building #2, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. For Orleans County, a rapid test clinic is scheduled for June 10th 10 - 10:30 a.m. at the Orleans County Health Department at 14016 Route 31 West, Albion.

To register for testing for the Genesee Test Clinic, click here. To register for the Orleans Test Clinic, click here.


  • Tuesday, June 8 / 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Yates Community Library, 15 N. Main St., Lyndonville

J&J: Walk-ins & Appointment


  • Tuesday, June 8 / 2 - 3:30 p.m.

State Street Park, 385 E. Center St. / Corner of State and East Center streets, Medina

J&J: Walk-ins & Appointment


  • Wednesday, June 9 / 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Genesee County Health Department, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia

Moderna: Walk-ins & Appointment

J&J: Walk-ins & Appointment


  • Thursday, June 10 / 1 - 4:45 p.m.

Orleans County Health Department, 14016 State Route 31, Suite 101

Pfizer: Walk-ins and Appointment


  • Friday, June 11 / 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Alabama Fire Department, 2230 Judge Road, Oakfield

Pfizer: Walk-ins and Appointment

J&J: Walk-ins

NYS shifts delivery of COVID-19 vaccines away from health care systems to other sites

By Press Release

From Rochester Regional Health Care:

As eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccinations expands to more members of our community, New York State has shifted the delivery of vaccine allocations from health care systems to state and county mass vaccination sites, pharmacies and to facilities for groups like veterans and those with developmental disabilities.

Because of this shift, Rochester Regional Health is no longer routinely scheduling additional first dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments for non-healthcare workers. We will fulfill all first- and second-dose appointments that are already scheduled. 

We know many in our community are eager to get vaccinated as quickly as possible and know that this has been a frustrating process. Thank you for your patience and persistence.

We recommend continually checking the Finger Lakes Vaccination Hub for the latest on eligibility for and availability of COVID-19 vaccination appointments in our region.

Got shots? It's National Immunization Awareness Month

By Billie Owens

From the Genesee County Health Department:

August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month. Today’s vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

Because of advances in medical science, your children and family can be protected against more diseases than ever before.

Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties, has continually supported vaccination and vaccine education in our communities and believes vaccines are the best defense against preventable diseases.

“Vaccination is safe and effective," Pettit said. "All vaccines undergo long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and the federal government to make sure they are safe."

Immunizations are important for a variety of reasons. When you get vaccinated, you not only protect yourself but you also help protect the people around you who might be too young or too sick to get vaccinated themselves. This is called “community immunity” or “herd immunity.”

If enough people stop getting vaccinated, more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, will occur.

On June 13, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation removing nonmedical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children.

Public Health Law §2164(1)(a) defines “school” to include any public, private or parochial child caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school.

This means that if your child does not have a medical exemption, your child must receive vaccines in order to attend school. This new law will help protect against vaccine-preventable diseases within our communities.

For more information on the law, please click here.

From infants to senior citizens, getting vaccines on time is one of the most important way to protect yourself and your family from serious diseases and infections.

During NIAM, the Genesee and Orleans County health departments encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure that you and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines.

We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughoutyour child’s life. Adults can use the CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be right for you.

For information about this article or health department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.

This is National Immunization Month

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments are encouraging residents to “Choose Health” -- taking small steps in our day-to-day living and making positive health choices will lead to healthier outcomes.  Learning something new every day is one of those small steps…

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. If you think you outgrew the need for vaccines when you graduated high school and/or moved out of your parents’ house -- think again. Every year, thousands of adults in the United States suffer serious health problems, are hospitalized, or even die from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccinations.

Most people do not realize that adults need immunizations, too. While many know that a flu vaccine is recommended every year, few adults are aware of the need for other vaccines to help protect their health.

Protection from some childhood immunizations wears off over time, leaving you at risk to disease. For example, there has been a rise in cases of whooping cough (pertussis) in the last few years with more than 41,000 cases being reported in 2012. We have learned that protection from DTaP whooping cough vaccine given to children doesn’t last into adulthood, so all adults are now recommended to get one dose of Tdap whooping cough vaccine.

Adults may be recommended for certain vaccines due to their age, job, hobbies, travel, or health condition. Other vaccines may be recommended if they didn’t get certain vaccines as children.

Check your immunization records to be sure you have had the HPV vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, and varicella (chicken pox) vaccine and are up to date on them, as some vaccines are administered less often than others.

Vaccines not only help protect you from disease, but they also help prevent you from spreading diseases to those who are most at risk of complications -- infants, older adults and those that have chronic health conditions, including asthma and diabetes.

For example, because older age increases the chance of getting shingles, CDC recommends that adults get the shingles vaccine once they turn 60 years old. People with diabetes, heart disease, COPD or asthma, even if well managed, are more likely than those without these conditions to have complications from the flu. To prevent possible difficulties like pneumonia, people with these chronic conditions should get the pneumonia vaccine along with their yearly flu vaccine.

Check with your doctor, local pharmacy, school health center, workplace, community health center or local health department for more information about vaccines and what is best for you.

For information about health department services:

  • The Genesee County Health Department currently has FREE DTap and Tdap vaccine, simply call to learn if you are eligible! Contact us at 344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit our Web site at  Find us on Facebook at Genesee County Health Department and Twitter @GeneseeCoHealthDept.
  • Orleans County Health Department call: 589-3278 or check out our Web site at: Visit Facebook and Twitter: the user name for both is OrleansCoHealth. 
  • Wyoming County Health Department call: 786-8890 or visit their Web site at

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