Oswego County data shows unvaccinated people are at much greater risk for COVID infection

OSWEGO, NY –   Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang today released compelling statistics that demonstrate the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine among Oswego County residents.

Huang said local data collected between March and July supports evidence of the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Oswego County had its first case of infection in a fully-vaccinated patient in March. By the end of July, 75 fully-vaccinated residents had tested positive for the virus. Those 75 accounted for 0.13% of fully-vaccinated county residents.

During the same period, 2.8 percent of county residents who were not vaccinated, and not fully vaccinated, became infected with the virus.

“Among Oswego County residents, you are 22 times more likely to become infected with the COVID-19 virus if you are not fully vaccinated,” said Huang.

The vaccine is critical in stopping further spread of the COVID-19 virus, including the delta variant.

“Many reports in the country and around the world indicate that the current licensed vaccines are effective, especially in preventing severe cases, hospitalization, and deaths. The Oswego County Health Department is closely monitoring the virus activity in the county as it strives to promote the vaccine,” said Huang.

The County Health Department will hold its next COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

Health department staff will administer the Pfizer vaccine to those aged 12 and older. This is a two-dose series, and those who receive the vaccine should plan to return Wednesday, Sept. 1 for their second shot.

“The delta variant is more infectious than previous strains of COVID-19,” said Huang. “Over the past few months, more and more residents have been vaccinated. Not surprisingly, we have recently seen more positive test results in people who were fully vaccinated. Most of them had mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.”

Huang said the vaccine drove down daily new case counts before the delta variant became prevalent. The vaccine is making a large difference in serious illness and hospitalizations among Oswego County residents.

“Between March and July, there were 50 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 recorded among county residents,” he said. “Less than a handful of those who were fully vaccinated were hospitalized, and all of those vaccinated patients who were hospitalized had underlying conditions.”

Walk-ins are welcome at the Aug. 11 vaccination clinic, although appointments and online pre-registration are still appreciated to help reduce wait times and maintain efficient clinic operations. Go to https://health.oswegocounty.com/ and click on the link for “Local Information About the COVID-19 Vaccination.”

Attendees should bring identification to confirm their age and identity. Minors must verify that they are at least 12 years of age or have a parent or guardian attest on their behalf for the Pfizer vaccine. Those with health insurance should bring their insurance cards. However, health insurance is not required and there is no out-of-pocket expense to get the vaccine. Those without health insurance can still get vaccinated at no cost.

To prepare for their appointment, people are advised to be well-hydrated before they come in and continue to hydrate afterward. They should also eat beforehand and dress in comfortable layers of clothing that can be removed if they get over-heated.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, click on the “Fact Sheet” link for each one at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.

United Way of Greater Oswego County is partnering with the Oswego County Health Department, ConnextCare and Pulaski Urgent Care to try to increase vaccination rates among 12- to 25-year-olds. County residents aged 12 to 25 can be entered into a drawing for a first prize Apple iPad Air, a second prize $250 Walmart or Amazon gift card, and a third prize $100 gift card for Oswego Cinema.

Drawings will be Friday, Aug. 27, and Friday, Sept. 17. All three prizes will be awarded at each drawing. Those receiving a two-dose series vaccine may enter with each dose.

Oswego County and Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. are partnering to offer free transportation to residents to go to COVID-19 test and vaccination sites. The service is available Monday through Saturday between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Call 315-598-1514 to schedule a ride in advance.

For more information, go to the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or call its COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330. Phone lines are open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.

Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response within the County of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department works closely with New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 monitoring, response and reporting.