Vaccination efforts continue as delta variant surges

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A majority of New York adults have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but that is proving to be not enough as we see a rise in the delta variant.

Local officials continue to urge people to get the shot if they haven’t already. New numbers show Albany County has 61.5% of its residents fully vaccinated, whereas this time last week, that number was at 61.1%, not a big jump.

“The reason why the numbers aren’t going up as much as they were, is that there’s obviously less people out there to vaccinate, but we still want to get to all of them,” says Albany Med CEO Dr. Dennis P. McKenna.

80% of Schenectady County residents 18+ have already received at least one dose of the vaccine. According to the NYS COVID Vaccine Tracker, Schenectady County leads the highest percentage right above Hamilton and Nassau counties. Keith brown, Schenectady County Interim Public Health Director, says that percentage doesn’t tell the whole story. “When you look at zip code data, we still have some zip codes where we were hovering around 40%, in some age groups and areas, we’re even lower than that,” says Brown.

Brown says it comes down to educating those who are skeptical. Schenectady County has been going to different neighborhoods, community events, and even door-to-door to bring the vaccine to them. Even if people choose not to get the shot at that moment, they’re informed. 

“Connecting with people, developing relationships so when people have questions or want to talk about misinformation they’re hearing, they can connect with a human-being,” says Brown.

Some health experts say the vaccine proximity doesn’t outweigh vaccine hesitancy. “The overwhelming number of people who get it have mild side effects at most, fully recover and are protected against the vaccine. With that many people vaccinated and so few people getting any real serious side effects…I think we can confidently say it is safe and effective,” says Dr. McKenna.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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