Kudos to Lars Clemensen and the Hampton Bays School Board for their COVID immunization program, partnering with Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, to encourage immunization of our local children ages 12 to 15, prior to the start of school.
With our horrendous traffic, local families working many hours to support their families and the closure of some “pods,” this program is doing more than a public service — it is saving lives.
It is far from a new idea to immunize in schools. In 1875, immunization for smallpox was done in New York City schools. Those of us who lived in the 1950s can remember nurses and doctors going into our classrooms with oral polio vaccine to stanch the dreaded polio epidemic. It worked. Polio was conquered.
It is a known concept that families trust their local well-known health care providers and schools for information. What many have been receiving on social media is not correct information and is costing lives.
The contagiousness of the delta variant surprised all of us in health care, and we are fearful of going back to the early days of the pandemic. We must think of others, those who cannot protect themselves now for whom an infection is deadly. I have many of them in my pediatric practice.
Thus, I applaud the Hampton Bays School District action against COVID. I strongly urge teachers and school employees who remain unvaccinated and who will work with our unprotected children, about whom they care very much, to get vaccinated now before school starts. I urge everyone to help our community be safe and as free of disease as we are able.
Your health care workers have been laboring long and hard for you and this community. Help us help you.
Harriet L. Hellman, CPNP, Ph.D.
One fine body…