Nearly a month after the federal government's health agencies gave emergency authorization for COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, about 900 Cayuga County residents in that age group have received shots.
The state Department of Health recently updated its age demographic breakdown of vaccination rates to include the youngest group.
Statewide as of Tuesday, 261,153 children age 5 to 11 had first shots of the pediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine, a total that accounts for 16.7% of the total population in that age group.
Cayuga County's 5-11-year-old vaccination rate was 15%, with 886 first doses administered. Among neighboring counties, Tompkins County had the highest rate in the youngest age group with 46.3% vaccinated, followed by Onondaga (21.8%), Cortland (16.1%), Oswego (14.9%), Wayne (14.1%) and Seneca (12.4%).
The Cayuga County Health Department plans to offer more school-based vaccine clinics for younger students when it returns to schools that hosted first-dose clinics prior to the Thanksgiving break. The shots are also available at many pharmacies, doctors' offices, community health centers and the New York State Fairgrounds walk-in clinic.
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For the total Cayuga County population as of Monday, 58.7% of residents had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control, and 54.6% had full vaccination status. Statewide, those figures jump to 78.1% and 68.4%.
The county health department on Wednesday reported 48 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 35 involving unvaccinated residents. Active cases in isolation in the county climbed to 275, up from 272 a week earlier.
The department also reported the county's 109th COVID-19 related death, as a woman in her 70s passed away.
There were 13 county residents hospitalized in Auburn or Syracuse facilities (six unvaccinated) with COVID-19, up from 11 a week earlier.
The Cayuga County Health Department still has appointment slots open for a COVID-19 vaccination clinic this week.
From 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, a clinic will offer Moderna boosters and Pfizer boosters for people 18 and older. As of Wednesday afternoon, 11 appointments were available for the Moderna boosters and 25 remained for the Pfizer boosters.
This clinic is being held at Fingerlakes Mall, 1579 Clark St. Road, Aurelius, in the former Jo-Ann Fabric location. To enter the clinic, use the exterior doors to the left of Bass Pro Shops.
Registration is required. Appointments can be scheduled at cayugacounty.us/health. The Cayuga Community Health Network also is helping to schedule appointments. To receive assistance with the registration process, call (315) 252-4212. Some town and village offices are also assisting residents to schedule appointments.
Vaccines and boosters are also available at many local pharmacies, community health centers and physicians' offices. The state walk-in vaccination clinic continues to operate at the New York State Fairgrounds, as well.
In addition to encouraging residents to be vaccinated, the county health department reminds the public that there are options for getting COVID-19 testing. Visit www.cayugacounty.us/1606/COVID-19-Information to learn about testing that's available in Cayuga County and neighboring counties.