Oneida County Reaches 50% Fully Vaccinated
Right now, more than 18,100 people in Oneida County are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon says it’s truly been a community effort to get to get the 50% mark.
“I’m also proud because we’ve had a lot of volunteers that have assisted in vaccination efforts as well as pharmacies and Walmart and Walgreens, health care providers. It really has been a community effort in reaching that number,” said Conlon.
The 65-plus age group has the best vaccination rate in the county with nearly 89% with at least one dose.
As the age groups get younger, the number of vaccinated people drops.
Just 15% of 12 to 15 years old in Oneida County have gotten at least one shot. It’s the only age group in the county that falls below the state average.
Conlon says those younger age groups are the health departments biggest focus right now. The vaccine clinics at Rouman Cinema have been helpful with that.
“We’re vaccinating anybody who comes in, but it’s been concentrated on youth. We’ve had a lot of youth come in and get vaccinated at the Rouman Cinema,” said Conlon.
People under the age of 18 do need a parent or guardian with them to receive the vaccine.
Businesses have also been a key part in getting people vaccinated. The health department will work with employers to set up clinics in offices.
“We’ve heard from many employees that indicated that they truly weren’t going to get vaccinated but because we were there, they decided to get vaccinated,” said Conlon. “We really are trying to get out into the community where people are at and offering vaccine as well as offering walk-ins at the health department to try and entice people vaccinated and make it as easy as possible.”
As the number of people vaccinated increases, the number of COVID-19 cases has dropped off significantly in Oneida County.
The county now goes days without someone testing positive and the last reported death of an Oneida County resident from COVID was May 4th.
“A lot of that can be contributed to both our vaccination rates and some natural immunity in our community. There’s a little bit of concern about natural immunity wanes that we might see an increase in COVID cases as well as seeing the Delta variant. There’s a little bit of concern with that and it’s one of the reasons why we’re still strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated,” said Conlon.
The Delta variant has not yet been found in the North Central region though it has been found in other parts of the state.
Medical experts believe it will become the predominant strain in the U.S. soon.
The health department is no longer doing vaccine clinics at Grace Foursquare Church, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated.
You can get vaccinated at the health department, local pharmacies, or at your medical provider.
You can sign up for the vaccine at the health department via its website.
You can also use vaccines.gov to find a place to get vaccinated near you.