The good news is that we just finished our 2nd week of immunizing 5-11 year olds and things are going smoothly. We have administered about 130 doses so far. We will continue to open up days to administer the vaccine and will accommodate all who want it. We are, however, unable to give the vaccine at routine appointments due to the way the vaccine is packaged, scheduling and staffing issues and the huge increase in visits for exposures and mild symptoms.
Which brings me to the bad news. Monroe County is now at 355 cases per 100,000 people with an 9.2% positive testing rate. Why? We have decent but not stellar immunization rates. The cases tend to be milder. Hospitalization rates are not where they were last year which is a good thing. The vaccine is working in that it prevents serious infection. Perhaps it is time for everyone to get boosters at 6 months. Perhaps we have to rethink protocols for exposures and quarantine.
As I have said before, the virus is here to stay. We have to learn to live with it, much like we live with influenza, RSV and hand foot and mouth (coxsackie) viruses. IMMUNIZATION is our best shot (pardon the pun) at peaceful coexistence.
We are here to support you. We currently are able to obtain adequate supplies for in office PCR testing. There are several sites where you can obtain testing without coming to the office. However, if you use one of those sites, we will not be responsible for reporting results to schools.
As we near the holiday season, please remain careful and limit your exposures.