Health & Medical News

Adam Fenster/URMC

Roughly three-quarters of New Yorkers say they have either already been vaccinated against COVID-19 or plan to do so; the remainder don't plan on getting the vaccine. 

Those are the findings of a new poll from Siena College. 

Pollster Steve Greenberg said the largest numbers of survey respondents who say they won't get vaccinated are represented among five different demographic groups:  Republicans, independents, African Americans, Latinos, and voters under the age of 35.

AIDS Ribbon
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(Binghamton-WSKG) 2020 was the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was also the target for New York to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Calvin Eaton usually struggles with the lack of sunlight each winter.

"Feeling down and low, but I think this year, it just feels a little bit more omnipresent,” he said.

It's not his imagination. Rochester’s last sunny day, defined by no more than 20% cloud cover, was Nov. 10, 2020.

Rochester averages 23 cloudy days in the month of December. But this past December?

University of Rochester Medical Center

Monroe County plans to hire 30 registered nurses on a temporary basis to aid in COVID-19 vaccination efforts, officials announced Monday.


``This year, you know, it’s more important to connect with people locally that are backing the team and find a community to talk to since we can’t be together in person.”

That’s long-time local Bills fan Marco Iulianella.

He’s joined hundreds of others in the Rochester, New York Buffalo Bills Backers group on social media just to have a way to connect with other fans during what has been a very successful season for the team, so far.


Two new studies from the University of Rochester Medical Center have uncovered an association between vaping and what researchers call ‘mental fog.’ 

According to the studies, both adults and children who vape were more likely to report difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions than their peers who don’t smoke or vape. Researchers said that it also appeared that kids were more likely to experience mental fog if they started vaping before the age of 14.

Dongmei Li is an associate professor at URMC and authored the study.

Yearlong campaign aims to dispel vaccine myths

Dec 21, 2020
freeimages.com/Iwan Beijes

As the general public waits to get access to the COVID-19 vaccines, plans are underway to launch a vaccine literacy program early next year.

Led by faculty members at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College, the yearlong educational campaign will focus on dispelling myths and misinformation about immunizations. The program is funded by a $20,000 grant from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

Monroe County

To help with community education and equitable vaccine distribution, Monroe County leaders have announced a COVID-19 vaccination task force. 

The task force will collaborate with community leaders and organizations to share accurate information as more vaccines are made available.

Dr. Nancy Bennett, director of the Center for Community Health and Prevention, and Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health, will help lead the efforts alongside county health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza.


A quarter of the people in Monroe County smoke, that’s 11% higher than the national average. It’s also up 2% from 2017. That factoid is from a website called ROCHealthData.org.

The site anonymously pools health care data from doctor’s visits to give experts a look at what is ailing people in the area which includes all 13 counties that Rochester RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization) and Common Ground Health serve. 

freeimages.com/Russell Weller

According to one doctor, medical staff at local hospitals are exhausted as they care for the latest wave of COVID-19 patients -- more than twice the number who were hospitalized in the peak surge last spring.

Dr. Damanpaul Sondhi, a pulmonologist at Rochester Regional Health, said there are enough beds, thanks to the opening of additional floors at the new Sands Constellation Center for Critical Care.

But he said they're running out of nurses and respiratory therapists to meet the current patient caseload.