Orleans officials say county has been effective getting vulnerable residents vaccinated

Posted 16 June 2022 at 3:43 pm


The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) and Orleans County administration would like to thank Mr. Capurso for his recent Letter to the Editor.

In response to his concerns around vaccination rates in Orleans County, GO Health has been at the forefront of delivering vaccines along with providing data and education to residents throughout the pandemic. Initiatives and focus areas in regards to vaccination have included, but are not limited to:

  • Easy access to appointments on the GOHealthNY.org website;
  • Ongoing multi-media promotion including local media providers and social media;
  • Collaboration and communication with local healthcare providers around vaccine access;
  • Providing pop-up clinics which included events, businesses and schools throughout the county;
  • Regional promotion and advertising with the Finger Lakes region which included direct mailings to residents in lower vaccination zip codes and television advertisements;
  • Weekly vaccination opportunities at the health department; and
  • Providing outreach to seasonal farmworkers and in-home vaccinations to those who are homebound.

In Mr. Capurso’s letter, he compared the Polio vaccine efforts to the Covid-19 vaccination efforts. Somewhere in time, the definition of what a vaccination does has changed. With the polio vaccine, the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) prevented the individual from being infected with the virus and thus the spread of polio declined over time.

The majority of Covid-19 vaccines do not use a live virus. It is common that a vaccinated person for Covid-19 becomes infected with the Covid-19 virus and spreads the virus.  Per the CDC, Covid-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized and even dying.

Per the CDC, Orleans County has 82.1% of the population 65 and over fully vaccinated. As we know, this is the segment of the population who is most vulnerable if infected with the Covid-19 virus.

We believe we know how to serve our residents in an effective way that to help protect our most vulnerable residents. We believe we are able to effectively serve our residents without being incentivized by the federal government.

Thank you for this opportunity to exchange information in the public square.

John C. Welch, Jr. – Chief Administrative Officer

Lynne M. Johnson – Chairman of Orleans County Legislature