Over 14,000 polio shots administered

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NEW CITY – As of Monday, January 9, a total of 14,071 polio vaccines have been administered in Rockland since a confirmed case of Polio was detected in a local resident.

Of those doses, 77 percent were administered to children ages zero to four, signaling that work by Rockland County Department of Health, the State Health Department, and Centers for Disease Control to boost vaccinations is working, officials said.

“While certainly the number of doses is a strong indicator that our messaging is having an impact, these vaccines are a series leaving us unable to know the full weight of impact until those series are completed which is why it is crucial for schools and the State Education Department to maintain and enforce these required vaccinations,” said County Executive Ed Day.

“While the State Health Department reported on 12/30/22 that polio hasn’t been detected in Rockland County wastewater since October, it is critical that families remain vigilant and work to ensure that you and your children are up-to-date on the polio vaccine,” said County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert. “Now is the time to check your own and your children’s immunization status and protect everyone from all vaccine preventable diseases.”

Polio traditionally hits seasonally, as reported, with large outbreaks typically surfacing during summer and is why the county remains focused on getting those unvaccinated or behind on their four-dose polio vaccine series up to date, particularly infants and preschool-aged children, because transmission of this disease only happens if overall vaccination rates remain low.

“This administration has been addressing the topic of mandatory vaccinations with schools, both public and private, for months and all should be aware that strict compliance is expected,” said Day. “This responsibility falls not just on schools but on families as well, which is why our Rockland County Department of Health is continuing to have ongoing conversations with local health providers, along with community organizations and religious leaders, which families trust, to boost immunizations.”

The County Department of Health is actively working on strategies to increase vaccination rates in Rockland, including working with the CDC and state health department to perform daycare and school assessments and audits.