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Get vaccinated and be patient

Chamber Corner

As businesspeople we understand that supply doesn’t always meet demand. We are at that point right now with the coronavirus vaccine. More than 7-million New York State residents are eligible to receive the vaccine, but the state is receiving just 300,000 doses a week. At the current rate it will be many months before even our first phase of eligible residents can be vaccinated. The difference in business is that we can often take direct steps to help meet increased demand by finding a new or additional supplier. As it pertains to the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, meeting demand is not as straight forward because of the supply backlog, the layers of bureaucracy and the reality that this massive of an immunization project within the context of a world-wide pandemic is new territory. As a result, we urge patience and continued responsible health practices while the vaccines are being produced and distributed. Wash your hands, wear a mask, restrict your social activity and social distance. The surge in the COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County recently is not only endangering the health of our communities but it is also impacting our businesses and economy. Please remain vigilant and responsible.

At the time of this publication, New York State’s phased distribution system now allows for anyone in Phases 1a and 1b to receive the vaccine including anyone over the age of 65 as well as those who are: first responders in fire, police, or medical service, corrections officers, school personnel in preschool-12 grade as well as college faculty, employees in licensed childcare settings, public transit workers, public-facing grocery store workers, funder directors, home care workers, staff and residents of nursing homes and adult care facilities. The complete list is available through the state’s website at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine.

Getting the vaccine is a multi-step process.

Step 1: Fill out a web-based form through https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or at https://forms.ny.gov/s3/vaccine OR if you don’t have internet access you can call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at (833) 679-4829. If you call the hotline, please be aware that the state is experiencing a high volume of calls and you may be asked to call back.

Step 2: Once you receive confirmation of eligibility you can schedule your appointment. Distribution locations are not able to keep up with demand right now but try back periodically as locations will open up appointments as they get available doses or cancellations.

Step 3: You must present your proof of eligibility confirmation document when you go for your first dose. Your second shot will be scheduled at the time you receive your first shot. Please note, the Chautauqua County Health Department is not scheduling appointments or confirming eligibility at this time. You must go through the New York State website to confirm your eligibility and set your appointment.

While there are many myths about the COVID-19 vaccine. You can rest assured that the vaccine has been just as rigorously reviewed and tested as every other vaccine. Here is some information that has been sources from the Centers for Disease Control, the Mayo Clinic and the National Institute of Allergy & Disease.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine is not safe because it was rapidly developed and tested. Reality: Scientists have been studying coronaviruses for over 50 years. There are hundreds of coronaviruses according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases. Some cause the common cold and some sparked Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In addition, advancements in medical technology such as genomic sequencing have enabled researchers to move quickly to understand the viral sequence of diseases such as COVID-19. Pfizer/BioNTech was tested on a population of 43,000 participants, there were no serious safety concerns observed and the tests demonstrated vaccine reduced the risk of acquiring COVID by 95%.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine will make me sick with COVID 19. Reality: The vaccines authorized and recommended in the United States do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, meaning you the vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

Myth: I don’t need to get vaccinated because I already had COVID-19. Reality: You still need to get the vaccine even if you already had COVID-19.

Myth: COVID-19 will alter my DNA. Reality: The COVID 19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA.

Myth: There are severe side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. Reality: In some people there are short term mild or moderate reactions such as injection site pain, headache, chills, fatigue, muscle pain or fever. These symptoms may last for 1-2 days.

Myth: I don’t need to wear a mask after I get vaccinated for COVID-19. Reality: First of all, it will take a while for everyone to get vaccinated and it is unknown at this time whether a vaccinated person can or cannot carry and transmit the virus to others.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines were developed using fetal tissue. Reality: There are no fetal cells contained in or used in the production of Pfizer/BioNTech nor the Moderna vaccines.

Myth: I am allergic to eggs so I shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. Reality: There are no eggs in the development or the production of the Pfizer/BioNTech nor the Moderna vaccines.

Myth: The vaccine is an attempt to put a microchip or transducer in my body. Reality: Seriously, folks. There is no truth to this whatsoever.

Myth: There are preservatives in the COVID-19 vaccine. Reality: There are no preservatives in the Pfizer/BioNTech nor the Moderna vaccines.

Stay safe, be patient and follow the science.

LEARN MORE ABOUT

THE NEW PPP AND

OTHER BUSINESS

ASSISTANCE

The Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the first in a new series of Tuesday Talks programs for 2021 with a special presentation on the new COVID relief package and how it can help local businesses. Our special guest will be Courtney Curatolo, Ph.D., Director of the Small Business Development Center at JCC. She will discuss additional funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grant program and more. This event will be held online at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19. Register online through the Chamber Calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org.

CHAMBER AND MAST

ANNUAL MEETING

JAN. 22

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier will hold a joint Annual Meeting on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, featuring Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as keynote speaker. This event marks the 20th anniversary of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the 120th anniversary of the Manufactures Association of the Southern Tier. We hope you will join us online to celebrate these major milestones. The Chamber will also present its Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award to Mike Abbate, who was instrumental this past year in coordinating local providers of emergency food services in order to streamline communications and distribution especially as schools and businesses were forced to close. This joint Annual Meeting will be held online via Zoom at noon, Jan. 22. You may register any time at www.chamberrsvp.org.

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