Chautauqua County is making progress in its COVID-19 vaccinations, as the supply issue slowly begins to ease. That was the message to the county Health Board Thursday.
Like many counties, Chautauqua has had its problems with the virus, like a mass outbreak at a Dunkirk ice cream plant and a shortage of vaccine. More production by the two giant two-shot companies and the new one-shot vaccine that requires refrigeration, not freezing, is helping.
"Total number of first doses of our population: 23,533, which means 22.48% of our county residents age 16+ have received their first dose," said County Health Director Christine Schuyler. "That is the percentage of eligible population at this time. When you look at age for vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one that’s currently approved for 16 and 17 year olds."
Schuyler said the increasing percentage of the population getting vaccinated doesn’t mean COVID is going away.
"We are still dealing with the disease investigation, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine," she said. "This data is through yesterday. We had 42 new cases. There was a death. Right now, we have a 1%, 7-day positivity rate, which is good."
And another problem remains.
"Appointment blocks fill up very quickly, but then there are a considerable amount of no-shows and cancellations," Schuyler said. "For instance, yesterday out of the 2,114 doses that we gave originally, 55 people had either no-showed or cancelled and even the state sites are showing about a 20% no-show rate."
Schuyler told the board there also is a strong push to reach out to segments of the population that have been reluctant to be vaccinated.