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Riverhead Town helped inoculate 62 residents with their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week during a vaccine distribution event at the Riverhead Senior Center.

During the event, which was promoted by the Long Island Farm Bureau and the North Fork Spanish Apostolate, 26 vaccines were distributed on Thursday and 36 on Friday, according to the town supervisor’s office. The second dose of the vaccine will be distributed at the senior center on Sept. 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Over the course of two days, we vaccinated 62 unvaccinated individuals,” Supervisor Yvette Aguiar wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 delta variant has a 60% higher load and extremely more infectious. However, the severity of illness may not be as severe for those who are vaccinated. One of our primary concerns is the passing of the virus by vaccinated individuals to unvaccinated. Should this continue, we may not reach herd immunity until 90% of the population is vaccinated and herd immunity will not be reachable in the very near future.” [As written.]

“Unfortunately, we are anticipating the possibility of a booster shot in the very near future,” Aguiar added. “For those who are not vaccinated. While I do not believe in vaccine mandates, you may want to consider becoming vaccinated. Vaccines are widely available at all pharmacies,” she wrote.

The vaccination event was scheduled after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory last month calling for an increase in vaccination against COVID-19 with the rise in cases from the highly transmissible delta variant. The majority of hospitalizations from coronavirus in recent months have been unvaccinated patients, according to the CDC.

Vaccines are available free by appointment at pharmacies in Riverhead for people 12 and older. According to state data, 61.8% of residents in the Riverhead 11901 zip code, and 57.6% of residents in Calverton have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Positive cases of COVID-19 have been rising in recent months with the spread of the delta variant. Suffolk County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate reached 4% this past week, according to data published yesterday by the state health department, with a statewide weekly positivity rate of 3.1%.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: alek@riverheadlocal.com