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Latest Onondaga County Data Shows Low Vaccination Participation In 50-59 Age Group

Onondaga County

New data from Onondaga County indicates there is still work to be done in the journey to herd immunity, specifically getting more people between the ages of 50 and 59 to get a vaccine. Just over a third of county residents between those ages are fully vaccinated.

County Executive Ryan McMahon is hoping people of that age who have been vaccinated can be good credible messengers.

“That demographic there, we’ve seen more loss of life than 40-49. So, a little concern there. I think we have some hesitancy in these demographics," said McMahon. "The younger ones need a little bit more time to see if there are any alarming trends.”

People ages 40 and younger also have lower vaccination rates, but they have been eligible for shorter periods of time. Epidemiologists approximate it will take at least 70% of the population being vaccinated to reach herd immunity. McMahon said he doesn’t believe we’ll reach that percentage until the vaccine opens up to people ages 12 to 15 years old. Once it does, McMahon is planning to utilize the same infrastructure they’re building now to vaccinate high school students.

“And so we’ll do that again. And that will be thousands of new vaccinations there," said McMahon. "But until eligibility opens up, it’s about bringing the vaccine opportunity to the neighborhoods. And about trying to really identify folks that are hesitant, truly hesitant, that could be persuaded.”

McMahon believes if they can quell some hesitancy, the county will be able to reach herd immunity without those in the community who can’t be persuaded to take the vaccine.  Neighborhood vaccination clinics are expected to start in the beginning of May.

Vaccination Rates By Age:

  • 80 and older: 71.6% first dose/ 60.4% second dose
  • 70-79: 85.1% first dose/ 72.6% second dose
  • 60-69: 73.3% first dose/ 56.8% second dose
  • 50-59: 55.9% first dose/ 34.2% second dose
  • 40-49: 49.6% first dose/ 29.4% second dose
  • 30-39: 43.4% first dose/ 26.2% second dose
  • 20-29: 36.9% first dose/ 19.5% second dose
  • 16-19: 27.1% first dose/ 9% second dose

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, poverty, and identity.