Get your turkey – with a side order of vaccine – Delco Times

Get your turkey – with a side order of vaccine – Delco Times

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DARBY BOROUGH – Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings includes a side order of vaccine for hundreds of  Delaware County residents.

A vaccines clinic for adults and children was held Thursday at Park Lane Elementary School, hosted by William Penn School District in partnership with Southeast Delco School District.

The first 200 families received a Thanksgiving basket which included a medium-sized turkey, gravy mix, corn muffin mix, canned vegetables, sweet potatoes, dessert mix,  and hand sanitizers.

The clinic was open to all people ages 5 and older to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Medical teams offered first shots, second shots, and booster shots for anyone and walk-ins were welcomed.

“This is our fourth clinic we are providing, we wanted to make it somewhat associated with the facts  that we have a lot to be thankful for,” said Dr. Eric J. Becoats, William Penn School District Superintendent, who toured the clinic talking to parents and children. “If you get vaccinated , we are giving away free turkeys and this is a community event.”

The Children’s Hospital of  Philadelphia provided the vaccinations while Aramark donated  the 200  turkeys and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. provided a substantial monetary donation.

The second clinic for those who received shots will be Dec. 9.

Beacoats said they had over 150 people register for the event and the inclusion of the turkey dinner helped encourage more people to sign up.

“I think it helps, it doesn’t hurt,” Beacoats said. “We have about 83 percent of our staff  vaccinated and we conduct weekly antigen testing if you are not vaccinated.”

For Odesa Turner, who was the first in line, the event was a no-brainer.

“I got a booster, I had gotten my full vac(cine) in April, I watch CNN and this is a no-brainer, people are dying. I also got my flu shot not long ago.”

Turner said her oldest son doesn’t want to take the vaccine because he has been influenced by stories on the internet.

“There has been intense communication within our household, take it or not take it,” she said. “I have to set the example that I’m taking, I’m hoping now that I got my booster and he (her grandson) is taking it they will follow the lead to do the same thing.”

Turner said the turkey dinner was “a little motivation too.”

For Lucille Bond the vaccine is vitally important. She fell ill to covid last year and it severely  impacted her. She doesn’t want to get it again.

“It was a terrible time being sick. I can’t stress enough how important  it is to avoid,” Bond said.

Nationwide the number of people contracting the virus is again rising; in Delaware County the two week average is 102 new cases per day.

At Wednesday’s Delaware County Council meeting, Medical Advisor Dr. Lisa O’Mahony said the numbers in Delaware County are trending in an unsettling direction.

“Delaware County remains at  high risk of transmission of COVID-19 with the most recent seven-day positivity at 5.4 percent. This represents an increase in the previous seven days which stood at 5.1 percent,”  O’Mahony said.”The incidence rate per 100,000 has also increased in the past seven days from 82.9 to 85,6.”

O’Mahoney said new cases have increased from 470 to 485 in the past week; however, COVID-like illness visits to hospitals are down in the past seven days.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health vaccine dashboard over 314,000 residents are fully vaccinated as of Thursday in Delaware County.  52,200 residents have gotten one shot and 52,500 have gotten a booster shot. Those numbers equal 67.2 percent of the population with at least one shot in the county. There have been 1,520 deaths in Delaware County from the virus which is 282.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

Steve Ferrell had already had the vaccine but once it was available for his children, Caitlin,10, and Connor, 8, they wanted to get it.

“They wanted to, they were ready,” Ferrell said. “We want to get back to normal, as normal as you can.”

“It’s the smart thing to do,” said Jason Lane, who was at the clinic with his children, Lily, 11, Miles, 7 and Aubriel, 5. “We’re hoping to travel soon and want them protected.”

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