MAYVILLE – It’s been over two years since COVID-19 showed itself to the world. Since then, medical technology has provided the public with vaccines for all ages, most recently allowing vaccinations for children and babies.
Currently in Chautauqua County COVID-19 cases are low, based on the latest testing data. However, officials say results are skewed due to at home-testing. The latest Wastewater data shows that local case numbers are actually still high in the region.
“There probably are a lot of people with COVID in the community,” explained Epidemiologist Bree Agett. “However the disease is slightly less severe than it was last fall, last winter, with the new variant of Omicron that is out there. A lot of people are vaccinated, a lot of people have had this disease, so there is more immunity in the community, which means that we’re going to experience less severe disease in most cases.”
One of the best ways to build immunization without contracting an illness is through vaccination. Most recently, children ages 6 months to 5 years old are now eligible for the shot.
“Nobody really loves needles right, and getting a shot, but It’s a part of life,“ stated Agett. “As a parent I can say that I talk to my children about the importance of preventing disease and how this is a short term ouchie that can really have long term effects.”
The Epidemiologist ensures those still on the fence about getting vaccination, that the dose is safe.
“These vaccines are thoroughly studied,“ explained Agett. “This was not done lightly, it’s taken over two years to develop a vaccine for this age group. This is the most closely monitored vaccine of probably all time.”
Agett believes that vaccinations are the best way to fight a disease, that doesn’t look to be going away, anytime soon.
“I think COVID-19 is with us, and is with us to stay,“ stated Agett. “It’s like the flu season like we have every year. We expect that it will be around for a long time. I think we are getting to a point where it’s becoming more Endemic, which means it’s here but it’s not as concerning as it was before.”
The free clinics take place at SUNY JCC’s Carnahan Building on July 13 and August 10 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and at SUNY Fredonia’s Steele Hall on July 14 and August 11 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m
For more information, or to pre-register for the clinics visit the health departments website at chqgov.com or call 1-866-604-6789.