New vaccinations sluggish as COVID-19 cases climb in Finger Lakes region

Finger Lakes

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New COVID-19 vaccinations have been slow-moving as of late, according to data from the Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub.

On the week of November 21, about 71 percent in the Finger Lakes region had a first vaccine dose. A month later, the week of December 19, the vaccine hub reported 73 percent had one dose — essentially, a 2 percent month-to-month increase in new people getting vaccinated.

There were over 500 people in the Finger Lakes region positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, and the numbers aren’t showing any signs of letting up.

About 60 percent of those in Rochester General Hospital are unvaccinated, according to Dr. Ed Walsh.

Walsh notes a larger proportion of the unvaccinated population make up hospital patients, compared to those who have received the shot.

“Now that the vaccine really requires a booster,” said Walsh, “to quell the hospitalizations from individuals who are vaccinated, that’s an important piece of the puzzle in trying to reduce hospitalizations.”

Walsh told News 8 breakthrough hospitalizations in vaccinated patients have taken place largely in those who have not received a booster.

Mary Beer, the health director for Ontario County, said the current situation is “a worst scenario than it was last year.”

“And we actually are experiencing more deaths than we did last year at this time, this period through the fall,” Beer said. “Definitely, we are seeing that those individuals who are unvaccinated have a higher rate of being hospitalized.

When it comes to increasing first-dose numbers, Health Director Beer says some will stay unconvinced, but for those on the fence, it comes down to meeting folks where they’re at, and getting the message out there.

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