Why Rep. John Katko, most Cayuga County’s state reps got COVID-19 vaccine

U.S. Rep. John Katko received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020. 

U.S. Rep. John Katko wanted it so he could continue serving his constituents. State Sen. Peter Oberacker got it because he’s a member of his local emergency medical services team. 

The Citizen surveyed Cayuga County’s federal representative and five state legislators and asked whether they received the COVID-19 vaccine. Katko, R-Camillus, and four of the county’s state reps — Sens. Pam Helming, John Mannion and Peter Oberacker, along with Assemblyman John Lemondes — have been vaccinated. Assemblyman Brian Manktelow said he’s waiting until his constituents are vaccinated before he gets his shots. 

Katko, R-Camillus, was fully vaccinated in January. He said in an interview that he wanted to show the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We all should be vaccinated and we should all get it done, not just to keep ourselves safe but to keep the community safe,” he said. “I just felt like it was my duty to get vaccinated.” 

While he acknowledged that some people may oppose vaccines, he added that “the more we get the people vaccinated, the more we can get this behind us and get back to our normal way of life.” 

Lemondes, R-LaFayette, and Mannion, D-Geddes, recently posted photos on Facebook highlighting their vaccination statuses. Lemondes said he waited to get vaccinated until those with chronic health conditions were able to get inoculated. He went to the mass vaccination clinic at the New York State Fairgrounds, which he described as a “great experience.” 

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