Health Officials Discuss Polio, Monkeypox Concerns | News, Sports, Jobs

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon The Chautauqua County Board of Health discusses concerns about polio and other unvaccinated people. Pictured left to right: Board Chair Dr. Lillian Ney, Shelley Leiter, Public Health Director Kristin Schuyler, Board Member Dr. Tariq Khan.

MAYVILLE – Vaccine reluctance remains a problem both locally and nationally.

And it’s not just the COVID-19 vaccine.

At a recent Chautauqua County Health Board meeting, board members discussed the need for vaccines against polio, monkeypox, and others.

Rockland County had one confirmed case of polio. Wastewater monitoring has seen polio in Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Nassau County, and New York City.

“There is evidence that unvaccinated Rockland County residents have paralytic polio and contracted the virus through domestic transmission, rather than through foreign or international transmission.” explains Public Health Director Christine Schuyler. “One way to prevent this is to get vaccinated.”

Schuyler said her office has been receiving calls from adults wanting to be vaccinated since the announcement that polio was found in the state. “There are currently no recommendations for this polio, so payers are not paying for it.” she said.

Dr. Tariq Khan, a member of the health committee, told the school principal about school-age students who were not vaccinated. “There are many families who are homeschooling because their children are partially vaccinated or not. The numbers are staggering.” He said without specifying the number of students or the school leader.

Vaccines for polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella are all required for kindergarten through 12th grade day care children in New York state, according to the state Department of Health website. . This includes all public, private, and religious schools. A medical exemption is granted if the child has a medical condition that prevents vaccination. The state does not have any non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements.

Health Commission President Dr Lillian Ney expressed concern that some parents may not vaccinate their children during COVID and need to catch up before they can start school. She pointed out how Congress rejected a $75,000 grant earlier this year that was supposed to be used to educate parents and others about the importance of vaccines.

Khan said he believes parents who want their children vaccinated do so. He worries about parents who don’t get their children vaccinated.

County physician Dr. Robert Berke shared a story about someone he knew in college whose parents didn’t get him vaccinated when he was young. While in college, the young man went on a missionary trip to Mexico. “He came back on crutches and was paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life.” He said.

Burke said it’s important for parents to understand that their decisions can affect their children’s lives. “These parents think they are really smart now. forget to come back with This is what they don’t understand.” He said.

While some Amish people allow their children to be vaccinated, some older residents still refuse to have them, Schuyler said.


Schuyler said the supply of monkeypox vaccine that their office has received is limited. She said she’s reaching out to people in high-risk populations to see if they want it, which includes Jamestown Community College and her SUNY Fredonia. increase.

Data show that gays, bisexuals, and other men who have sex with men account for the majority of the current monkeypox outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. However, anyone who has had close personal contact with a monkeypox patient, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, is at risk.

Schuyler said that if someone has monkeypox, it can spread through close contact, bedding, fabrics and towels. “It’s important to ask your sexual partner if they have any rashes or symptoms and recognize who they are close to.” she said.

There are many people in the county who have been tested for monkeypox, but at this time there are no positive cases in the county.

Khan pointed out that there are not enough vaccines for everyone at this time. “I think we’re all holding our breath and hoping that monkeypox doesn’t spiral out of control until we have enough vaccines.” He said.

Skyler noted that there is still a lot of mistrust among certain segments of the population when it comes to vaccines.

She shared stories about conversations with health officials, governments, or anyone who said she didn’t trust what was being reported. “We have a lot of work to do, and it’s not just us. It needs to come from real healthcare providers and trusted leaders to help us stop this.” .” Skyler said.

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