Finally, there are logical clear-cut data that can help people make a decision on the COVID-19 vaccine.

We keep hearing statistics and studies and for every conclusion by 1000 scientists, there are 5 additional science experts that disagree. Should we or should we not get the COVID-19 vaccine? To be clear, an overwhelming number of doctors and scientists highly recommend getting the vaccine, as opposed to a small number of outliers who disagree. Unfortunately, social media and some national news outlets have chosen to put the minority outliers into the spotlight, which makes it very difficult for the average person who is "on the fence" when it comes to getting inoculated.

Who is telling the truth? Who can we trust?

Finally, there's evidence out there, albeit somewhat anecdotal because it's local data, that shows the vaccine as a highly effective way to keep most people out of the hospital and ultimately, out of the ground.

I'm talking about the data that come from the Oneida County Executive's office citing the numbers of COVID patients in our local hospitals. After all, that's real information coming to us every day that paints the real, accurate picture of how COVID-19, the vaccine and the absence of the vaccine, affect all of us.

There are 50 Oneida County residents hospitalized with COVID-19 right now, not counting the number of out-of-county people in our local hospitals. 40 of these people are unvaccinated, and 10 are vaccinated.

What more information do you need to know? Let's dig a bit deeper.

14 of the patients hospitalized are in the intensive care unit (ICU). 72-percent of those 14 ICU patients are un-vaccinated. 8 of the hospitalized patients are now on ventilators, and 75-percent of those on ventilators are un-vaccinated. These are real data that show the vaccine working, just like predicted.

There's another interesting factor in these statistics dated September 8th in Oneida County, which tend to be consistent over the period of the last few weeks: age does play a role. Those hospitalized from age 20 to 49, a total of 13 patients, are all un-vaccinated. However, as people over 50 are hospitalized, the protection of the vaccine seems to slightly dissipate.

The numbers show that as a person gets older, the vaccine still works to keep them out of the hospital, but it becomes less effective because of other potential health problems, the older the patient gets.

Here are Oneida County's numbers for people over 50:

  • 50-59 years-old: 10 unvaccinated/3 vaccinated.
  • 60-69 years-old: 5 unvaccinated/1 vaccinated.
  • 70-79 years-old: 8 unvaccinated/3 vaccinated.
  • 80-89 years-old: 4 unvaccinated/3 vaccinated.

One could conclude that what we've been told about the vaccine by the CDC, seems to reflect accurately from the numbers we are seeing locally. It's important to note that a patient's health and medical situation isn't reflected in the numbers provided by Oneida County which could certainly skew an accurate conclusion. However, it's very interesting to see how our numbers in the last few weeks show a direct correlation to what the CDC has predicted when it comes to those who are vaccinated and those who are not. There's clearly a significant benefit to being vaccinated, no matter how old you are.

Think about it. These are the only numbers that matter when trying to determine if the shot is an effective defense against COVID and the new strains. The numbers don't lie, and they're consistent, and local. What more data do we need?

By the way, 65% of Oneida County residents have their first dose of vaccine. 60% of Oneida County residents are fully vaccinated. Experts say the vaccination rate needs to be near 80-percent to impede community spread.

I say, don't look to television and the media or Facebook to make a conclusion on the vaccine. Consult your physician and look to the hospitalization numbers right here in your own back yard.

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