How concerned are you with the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 infection?

You voted:

All adults in New York are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

It’s true that the state stumbled with the rollout of its vaccination program in the beginning. But since then, health authorities have helped to pick up the pace.

Appointments at state- and county-run vaccine clinics are widely available and easy to set. People also can get shots through pharmacies.

Many individuals and organizations have made concerted efforts to ensure everyone is able to get a vaccination.

For example, county officials use lists of senior citizens registered for various programs to bring vaccines to their homes. The North Country Family Health Center sets up mobile clinics in more rural sections of this region.

But given the numerous opportunities they have to obtain shots, many people haven’t yet done so. They’re taking their time in deciding if and when to be vaccinated.

Jefferson County officials recently acknowledged there has been a reduction in demand for vaccinations. It’s puzzling that a lull would occur at a time when both eligibility and available have expanded significantly.

“Jefferson County has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in New York state, but vaccine distributors in the county have noticed a drop-off in the number of new appointments being made for some versions of the vaccine. According to state data, about 54% of eligible Jefferson County residents have received at least one vaccine dose and nearly 40% have been completely vaccinated. But as manufacturing ramps up and eligibility opens to nearly every adult, local providers have noticed their vials of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines aren’t flying off the shelves like they used to,” according to a story published April 6 by the Watertown Daily Times. “At Jefferson County’s collaborative COVID-19 vaccination site at Jefferson Community College, eligible people were once jumping at every opportunity to make appointments whenever a new clinic was announced. One clinic hosted in late February filled up all 400 available slots within 45 minutes of when it was announced. But now when the county announces new vaccine clinic appointment slots, many go unclaimed. A first-dose Moderna vaccine clinic with 500 doses scheduled for Wednesday still had more than 100 appointments available 24 hours after registration opened.

“Jefferson County isn’t the only vaccine distributor facing a drop in demand for certain versions of the vaccine,” the article reported. “Nationwide, there are numerous reports of county health departments and local health care providers facing a drop in demand — the same time that vaccine production has ramped up.”

We applaud everyone who is involved with setting up and holding vaccine clinics throughout Northern New York. They have gone out of their way to publicize the availability of these life-preserving shots.

But the rest of us have a big role to play as well. We need to get the vaccine ourselves and urge those around us to do so.

Know when and where clinics are held and encourage loved ones to make appointments.

Help them out if they’re unfamiliar with the online registration process.

Achieving herd immunity is crucial, but it won’t be accomplished until a high enough percentage of people get vaccinated. Let’s see this through so we can finally move on from this health care crisis.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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