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vaccine

April 30, 2021 - 3:19pm
posted by Press Release in vaccine, covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) have single dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen (J&J) vaccination clinics with appointments available targeting those who are 18 and older and open for any New York State individuals, who reside, work or study in the state.

“The CDC and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) have recommended that the use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine resume in the United States,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health director for GO Health.  “To learn more about the safety of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine please visit the CDC.

"We encourage everyone to talk with their primary care provider if they have concerns about any of the vaccines. With the options we currently have we continue to encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated with the vaccine they are comfortable receiving.”

All clinics offer walk-in opportunities; however, we encourage you to register via the vaccination webpage or use the vaccine registration help lines below, and choose the appropriate J&J link.

  • The GCC clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5th from 9 – 11 a.m.  
  • Genesee County Office for the Aging, Downtown Batavia is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5th from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. 
  • The Ridgeway Fire Hall clinic is scheduled for Thursday May 6th from 9 – 11 a.m. 
  • Orleans County Health Department is scheduled for Friday, May 7th from 10 a.m. – noon.

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-related questions, and are not associated with either Health Department.  

Two weeks after receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine the individual will be determined to be "fully vaccinated."  This will allow individuals to not have to quarantine if they are in contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19.

They will also be able to attend large events/activities without having to be tested for entry, such as professional sports, weddings with over 100 guests, proms, graduations and more. Most importantly, you are protecting your health along with others you come in contact with.  

If you are interested in making an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccination, now is the time to do it locally!  

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 May 6th at County Building #2, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

For Orleans County, a rapid test clinic is scheduled for May 5th at the Orleans County Health Department at 14016 Route 31 West, Albion.

To register for testing go to the GO Health testing page and choose your preferred clinic location.

April 8, 2021 - 12:28pm

Press release:

As of April 6, individuals 16 years and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Genesee County health officials pointed out that the Pfizer vaccine is currently the only shot authorized for those 16 and 17 years old. Pfizer is a two-series dose, 21 days apart (three weeks). The Moderna vaccination also is a two-series dose, 28 days apart (four weeks), and is recommended for people aged 18 and older. It also is important to remember that youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“Following the announcement from last week that anyone 30 years and older is eligible for a vaccination with this announcement is an extremely positive development as it means we are starting to see a steady supply of the vaccine,” said Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein.

“The County is going to be utilizing various ways to get the word out to these age groups about the importance of getting vaccinated, including our social media channels. We also encourage parents and guardians and others in the community to not only get their vaccination, but also encourage those in these younger age groups to get their shots.”

Genesee County health officials also reminded residents that if they get a vaccine, then the person must be able to return for the second dose for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination after the first dose. That appointment is scheduled immediately after vaccination and the shot will be administered at the same location of the initial vaccination.

To see a list of vaccination clinics and availabilities in Genesee and Orleans Counties please visit this website.

It’s important that residents in these age groups get vaccinated as they are currently comprising a higher percentage of our current infection rates,” said Genesee County Public Health Director Paul Pettit.

“These age groups also are more socially active and as we begin to see restrictions on gatherings becoming more relaxed, the likelihood that infection rates among these age groups will continue to increase. That is why we must continue to be vigilant in preventing the spread by wearing a mask, adhering to social distancing and practicing good hygiene.”

January 25, 2021 - 4:35pm

Press release:

Genesee and Orleans counties continue to work diligently to distribute the limited supply of vaccine received in their continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were hoping to receive 2,500 doses of the vaccine between Genesee and Orleans counties but were made aware that is not going to occur because of the statewide shortage,” said Paul Pettit, director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

“We realize that those who hoped to schedule appointments this week are going to be very upset as well and we are disappointed to have to give them this news.”

The state(wide) allocations were the same as the week before (250,000), the county health departments (Genesee and Orleans) are only receiving 300 doses total between the two this week, which will be utilized for 1B essential workers per the state’s directive.

Those over age 65 should continue to seek vaccine from their providers, pharmacies and the state sites. Appointments for vaccine are currently online ONLY.

Last week the county-run clinics were able administer approximately 1,050 doses.

“At GCC on Friday alone, we were able to administer approximately 550 doses of the vaccine in a seamless fashion. On average, people got theirshots and were able to leave the testing sites within 20 minutes,” said Matt Landers, Genesee County manager.

“As a result of our experience inoperating the COVID19 testing sites, our workforce and community volunteers have been able to replicate this into a smooth operation at the vaccination siteswhen vaccine supplies are readily available.”

We ask those who are 65 and older, part of Priority Group 1B, to continue to check the clinic schedules and as requested by the state, to use the pharmacy links. Pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network” are workingto provide vaccine to the 65 and older population as they receive vaccine.

How the pharmacies set up their appointments are determined by the pharmacies and the state. The local Health Departments or OFAs do not have insight on how pharmacy clinics are run.

Keep checking the site links as many of the pharmacies may not have received vaccine.

If you do not have a computer/internet access, please contact your Office for the Aging for assistance. For Genesee County call (585) 813-2457 between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and for Orleans County call (585) 589-3191 between 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and they will assist you as best as they can.

Please check the following links:

For clinic schedules when vaccine is available and information about vaccination clinics:

http://bit.ly/39bfElNGOHealthVaccine, please note the registration links are subject to change and will be updated.

For the NYS-run vaccine clinics: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

Clinics are only open when there is vaccine available. You currently can only register for an appointment online.

Each provider is responsible for their own registration and set-up, the Health Departments are only responsible for the clinics they sponsor. Please do not call the host sites for the County Vaccination Clinics...they are only providing the space and cannot assist with registration or questions.

You must return to the provider where you initially got your first shot, for your second shot. You must also get the same vaccine brand as your first shot. The appointment is to be made for you while you are there for your first shot.

January 6, 2021 - 11:49am
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, Oak Orchard Health, vaccine.

Press release:

New Yorkers who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine -- currently that includes healthcare workers -- should check as soon as possible with their organizations or employers to see if they qualify.

The vaccine may be available to you for only a limited time period, before it gets redistributed by the state, so please act immediately.

“We encourage as many as possible to receive the vaccine—we may have only a short time to stop the virus, and it depends upon as many people getting vaccinated as possible, as soon as possible,” said Nancy Ciavarri, MD, chief medical officer, Oak Orchard Health.

Oak Orchard Health has received a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine from NYS Department of Health. We are allowed and directed to provide the vaccine for certain types of workers in the communities we serve but must follow strict guidelines provided by NYS DOH.

Oak Orchard Health

Originally founded in 1966, Oak Orchard has grown from a migrant health project into an integrated health center with multiple locations providing health care services for everyone located in the communities we serve. Currently serving over 23,000 patients at eleven locations, Oak Orchard Health is a recognized patient-centered medical home and 501(c) nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located inthe towns of Albion, Alexander, Batavia, Brockport, Corfu, Lyndonville, Hornell and Warsaw.                                    

December 23, 2020 - 1:36pm

Press release:

Just back from Washington, D.C., U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said about $800 million for Upstate NY and NYS, separate from New York City, is now on the way to help ensure the coronavirus vaccine and other coronavirus care efforts will be available here.

Schumer said local Upstate governments should not be on the hook for a single dollar related to the costs of distributing the new vaccine, along with testing or tracing for the virus.

Schumer said these just-locked fed funds will help to ensure New Yorkers can access the vaccine at local hospitals. He detailed the federal dollars as he explained what this means for public health and those most at risk to the virus across New York State.  

“The biggest thing we want to ensure about the coronavirus vaccine is universal access—no barriers—for New Yorkers,” Senator Schumer said. “Part of the way we do that, and to ensure a free vaccine is available here in New York, centers on the federal funds we just secured in the COVID relief bill voted on late last night.

"Communities throughout Upstate will get a sizable share of over $775 million dollars to do these things, and I am here to say the money is on the way, and to get the word out about what happens next for localities as they ramp up with distribution.

“All in, New York communities and the state will be getting about $800 million to distribute the vaccine, test, trace, and for any other public health initiatives related to COVID. This can mean nursing home safety, home care, any sort of mitigation—we worked to get this language and the funding into the bill, and now it is time to get the word out so great public hospitals, and all our New York hospitals, can succeed in the collective goal of public health."

For Upstate New York and New York State, Schumer detailed the exact dollar breakdowns, now that the bill has passed:

$1.55 Billion – Vaccine, Testing, and Tracing, and Flexible Local Health Funding. The breakdown means Upstate New York will get a sizable share of $775 million dollars.

  • $127M for NYS for vaccine distribution (Upstate to get a sizable share)
  • $648M for NYS testing, tracing, isolation support and COVID mitigation (Upstate to get a sizable share)

“This is a start, it’s not the entirety of what we need—this entire bill was not that—but this is a down payment amid an ongoing pandemic,” Schumer said.“State and local governments should not be out a single dollar to distribute the new COVID vaccine, test or trace for the virus, and these new federal funds mean a measure of help is on the way to support that endeavor.”

Nationally, Schumer said the just-passed relief bill provides essential funding for vaccine procurement and distribution, providing roughly $20 billion for manufacturing, production and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, and ancillary supplies, nearly $9 billion to the CDC and states for vaccine distribution and more than $3 billion for the strategic national stockpile.

This includes $300 million specifically directed to high-risk and underserved populations for vaccine distribution, including communities of color.

The bill provides more than $22 billion, all sent directly to states, for testing, contact tracing and COVID-19 mitigation programs. Of this total, $2.5 billion will be distributed for targeted use in high-risk and underserved populations, including communities of color, like here in New York.

Sufficient funding for vaccine distribution has been a key priority for President-elect Biden, who, according to reports, has pledged to oversee the administration of 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days in office.

Biden has said publicly that without proper funding for distribution, the efforts described above could slow or be delayed. Schumer says we do not want that to happen, and why we must continue to assess funding needs in real time.

Public health officials have said the goal is to provide vaccinations to as many as 20 million Americans by the first week of January.

December 3, 2019 - 12:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in national influenza week, health, flu, vaccine, news.

From the Genesee County Health Department:

Dec. 1st – 7th is this year’s National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW).

As family and friends are gathering for the holidays, flu activity is increasing. NIVW serves as a reminder it is not too late to get a flu vaccine.

Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties wants to remind folks that when you get a flu vaccine, you are also protecting your loved ones and your community.

“Getting vaccinated isn’t just about keeping  you healthy; it is also about helping to protect others around you who may be at risk of becoming very sick, such asbabies, older adults, and pregnant women,” he said.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs.

When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks, they spray tiny droplets. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

People can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touch their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Although the majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur in people 65 years and older, healthy young children and adults can have severe disease or even die from the flu.

“To be protected against the flu, you have to get the vaccine every year,” said Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans counties.

“Because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated annually.”

In addition to receiving the flu shot, it is also important to practice good health habits.

The tips below will help you learn about ways you can protect yourself and others from germs this season.

  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing – or cough/sneeze into your elbow if no tissues are available. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whooping cough are spread by coughing, sneezing, or unclean hands.
  • Wash your hands. Good hand washing takes 20 seconds. Sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while you wash. Scrub with soap and water to remove germs. Always wash hands before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, spending time outside, touching animals, using the bathroom, or changing a baby’s diaper. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Flu seasons are unpredictable and can last late into the spring.

As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible. It’s important to remember that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.

If you have not received your annual flu vaccine this year, now is the time! To find a place near you to get a flu vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

For information about Health Department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website.

November 1, 2019 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, hepatitis A, vaccine, food-service workers.

Press release from the GC Health Department:

The Genesee County Health Department has recently been awarded a grant to provide the hepatitis A vaccine to food-service workers at NO COST to them or the employer.

In Western New York and across the United States, foodborne outbreaks of hepatitis A have occurred as a result of infected food-service workers.

Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services for Genesee and Orleans counties, understands the severity of hepatitis A and the effect it can have on a business and community.

“Hepatitis A is a serious issue because most food-service workers will spread the infection before even knowing they have the disease," Bedard said. "A food-service worker can spread the virus to customers or other staff by contaminating surfaces, utensils and/or food, which can make unvaccinated individuals very sick.

"By offering the vaccine to food-service workers, we can prevent unnecessary illness from spreading in the community.”

Hepatitis A is a contagious (spreadable) liver infection that is caused by the hepatitis A Virus (HAV). It is typically spread through the feces (poop) of infected individuals.

Someone can become infected by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated by feces as well as having close personal contact with a person who is infected, or use of injection and non-injection drugs.

The symptoms of HAV may include sudden onset of fever, loss of appetite, nausea / vomiting, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). HAV usually does not have signs or symptoms until the second week of infection and is the most infectious during this time.

The good news is that hepatitis A can be prevented through vaccination!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccine has a 94- to 100-percent efficacy rate.

The hepatitis A vaccine is a two-dose series that is administered six months apart. As the vaccine is not required to attend school or daycare, many people have not received it.

Currently six local restaurants, totaling 54 food-service workers, have taken advantage of this opportunity for themselves and their employees who chose to receive the vaccine. The restaurants who have participated thus far have all expressed gratitude knowing their employees can protect themselves and their customers from the hepatitis A virus.

Any food-service worker employed in Genesee County can receive the vaccine.

By receiving the vaccine, you are also protecting yourself from getting the virus if you come in contact with dishes and/or utensils that may have been contaminated by a customer or coworker.

Restaurants that participate in this opportunity will receive a certificate honoring their commitment to protecting the health and safety of their workers and customers.

Restaurants or food services workers who are interested in receiving the Hepatitis A vaccine should contact the Genesee County Health Department immediately as this opportunity is ending on Dec. 31. The supply is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, please call the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580, ext. 5555. The department is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information on the hepatitis A virus, click (PDF) here.

July 11, 2019 - 4:44pm

Press release from the GC Health Department:

The Genesee County Health Department has recently been awarded a grant to provide the hepatitis A vaccine to food-service workers at NO COST to them or the employer.

In Western New York and across the United States, foodborne outbreaks of hepatitis A have occurred as a result of infected food-service workers.

Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services for Genesee and Orleans counties, understands the severity of hepatitis A and the effect it can have on a business and community.

“Hepatitis A is a serious issue because most food-service workers will spread the infection before even knowing they have the disease," Bedard said. "A food-service worker can spread the virus to customers or other staff by contaminating surfaces, utensils and/or food, which can make unvaccinated individuals very sick.

"By offering the vaccine to food-service workers, we can prevent unnecessary illness from spreading in the community.”

Hepatitis A is a contagious (spreadable) liver infection that is caused by the hepatitis A Virus (HAV). It is typically spread through the feces (poop) of infected individuals.

Someone can become infected by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated by feces as well as having close personal contact with a person who is infected, or use of injection and non-injection drugs.

The symptoms of HAV may include sudden onset of fever, loss of appetite, nausea / vomiting, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). HAV usually does not have signs or symptoms until the second week of infection and is the most infectious during this time.

The good news is that hepatitis A can be prevented through vaccination!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccine has a 94- to 100-percent efficacy rate.

The hepatitis A vaccine is a two-dose series that is administered six months apart. As the vaccine is not required to attend school or daycare, many people have not received it.

Currently three local restaurants have taken advantage of this opportunity for themselves and their employees who chose to receive the vaccine. The restaurants who have participated thus far have all expressed gratitude knowing their employees can protect themselves and their customers from the hepatitis A virus.

Any food-service worker employed in Genesee County can receive the vaccine.

By receiving the vaccine, you are also protecting yourself from getting the virus if you come in contact with dishes and/or utensils that may have been contaminated by a customer or coworker.

Restaurants that participate in this opportunity will receive a certificate honoring their commitment to protecting the health and safety of their workers and customers.

Limited vaccine is available through the funding, so the supply will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, please call the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580, ext. 5555. The department is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information on the hepatitis A virus, click (PDF) here.

March 19, 2018 - 4:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in shingles, PHN, public health column, vaccine.

Public Health Column from the Genesee County Health Department:

A new and improved shingles vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Shingrix" is now available to adults 50 years and older in protecting against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia, one of the most serious complications associated with shingles.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared that adults who receive two doses of the Shingrix vaccine are more likely to prevent the virus from occurring compared to adults who received Zostavax.

Shingles is a painful rash that can be described as an extreme burning sensation. The CDC has estimated that one out of every three adults will experience shingles in their lifetime.

Shingles primarily appears on one side of the body around the face and/or torso. Before an individual develops shingles, they may experience a tingling or burning sensation under the skin in the region where the rash will appear.

The rash consists of fluid-filled blisters that scab over in 7 to 10 days. An individual can expect the redness to linger for about 2 to 4 weeks after the initial onset of the rash. Additional symptoms present with shingles may include: fatigue, fever, chills, upset stomach, and muscle weakness.

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant (inactive) in the nervous system for many years before reactivating as shingles.

It is unclear what stimulates the varicella zoster virus to reactivate in the form of shingles, but certain risk factors contribute to the virus reappearing such as age and weakened immunity.

Shingles can cause debilitating health complications such as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), loss of vision, loss of hearing, skin disorders, and in rare cases, neurological problems.

Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans counties, explained that “postherpetic neuralgia can occur if nerve fibers were damaged during an outbreak of shingles. Messages sent from the skin to the brain no longer work properly, resulting in excruciating pain in the localized area where the rash was initially present. The pain can last for months, and sometimes years.”

PHN is one of the most serious complications individuals may experience with shingles. The CDC estimates that approximately every one in five adults who experience shingles will suffer with PHN. The older the individual is who develops shingles, the more likely they are to develop PHN.

Adults who are 50 years and older can protect themselves from developing shingles and PHN by receiving the new and improved shingles vaccine, Shingrix. The CDC recommends that adults 50 years and older receive two doses of the new shingles vaccine separated by 2 to 6 months for the most effective protection.

Bedard mentioned that folks who already experienced shingles or received the old, single dose, vaccine (Zostavax) should highly consider getting vaccinated with Shingrix.

Bedard states, “Although adults may have already received a shingles vaccine, they should consider getting vaccinated with Shingrix to increase their protection against the virus and the complications associated with it.”

Receiving two doses of Shingrix reduces the risk of shingles and PHN by more than 90 perceny in people 50 years and older.

Bedard continues, “Individuals who have already experiences an episode of shingles should receive this vaccine to prevent future outbreaks of the virus that could appear more serious. Since your risk of shingles and PHN increases as you get older, it is important to have strong protection against shingles in your older years.”

Anyone who experiences the initial onset and/or symptoms of shingles should contact their doctor right away. Anti-viral medications can be prescribed to lessen the severity of the symptoms. Although the symptoms might be managed, the risk for developing complications is still a major concern.

Receiving the Shingrix vaccine will provide superior protection against shingles. The two-dose vaccine is the recommended choice by the CDC in preventing shingles in adults 50 years and older. Talk to your local pharmacy or health care provider to receive more information on the vaccine.

To find doctor’s offices or pharmacies near you that offer the vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder. For information about Health Department services contact:

  • Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html
  • Orleans County Health Department at: 589-3278 or check out our website at: www.orleansny.com/publichealth
  • Wyoming County Health Department at: 786-8890 or visit their web site at www.wyomingco.net/health/main.html
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