Tioga County Public Health has been diligently working to vaccinate our entire county since the beginning of January. To date, Tioga County Public Health has held over 20 vaccination clinics throughout the county, and we have administered over 100 percent of what we receive. 

When the vaccine first became available, supply was limited, and we were receiving 100 doses weekly, which slowly increased to 200 doses weekly, which increased to our currently weekly supply of 300 doses. 

According to the New York State Vaccine Dashboard, 31.7% of Tioga County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 24% of residents have completed the series. 

“We are confident in the accuracy of the numbers from clinics that we have held,” said Katie Wait, Public Health Educator, “But, where we think there might be a gap is those that sought their vaccine across the border in Pennsylvania. I think this is especially true for residents that live so close to the border like Waverly and Nichols.” The state vaccination rate is 43% and 29.7% for those that have received one dose, and those who have a completed series, respectively. 

Tioga County Public Health is encouraging those that want to be vaccinated, and have not yet been vaccinated to make an appointment as soon as possible, at a venue of their choosing. Those that are still on the fence of whether they want to be vaccinated are also encouraged to get vaccinated. 

“Do the research, get information from experts such as your primary care provider or your pharmacist, and then don’t hesitate to go get vaccinated with whatever vaccine is available,” said Wait.

“We know that we are getting into the population that isn’t sure how they feel about the vaccine,” Wait said. “The vaccine was developed so fast, we don’t know the long-term effects...those are the things that we’re hearing, but I think we forget that the world was put on pause for several months. While the rest of the world was at a standstill, experts in epidemiology, public health, communicable disease, and other health fields were working to come up with a vaccine that would protect us. 

“Millions of dollars were donated to the research and development of this vaccine, so it was developed in what seems like a short amount of time, but we had the time, resources, personnel, and money to do it because that’s all the focus was on. The vaccine is the best option we have right now to protect ourselves. The quicker we all get vaccinated, the quicker we can return to normal.” 

We are still seeing positive cases come through, particularly related to schools and sports. It is important to be vigilant about social distancing, mask wearing (when possible), and good hand hygiene both on and off the field (or court!). This is especially important as we are seeing most of the spread happening with individuals that are presenting without symptoms. 

Please keep in mind that if you are not feeling well, please stay home and consult with your primary care provider or health department to see if testing is needed.

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