HUDSON — Local health authorities are speaking out about a recent COVID mailer.

A mailer sent to more than 33,000 Columbia County households is grabbing attention of local health authorities for what it claims about COVID-19 vaccinations for children.

The flyer encourages residents to go to the DoWeNeedThis website. The site is an initiative of Erich Kress and some friends of his.

Kress said they partnered with a nonprofit called New York Alliance for Vaccine Rights, which helped them get the mailer sent out this past weekend.

According to the DoWeNeedThis site, they are local informed citizens imagining their own “future that includes medical freedom and democracy for all.”

“The purpose of the flyer is education.” Kress said. “There’s really a limited view of what information people can get through the mainstream media and the regular news outlets.”

He said they want people to be educated so they can make the best decision for their children. The front of the mailer shows an image of a needle above a vial of a vaccination. In big bold lettering it asks, “Isn’t this playing Russian roulette with our children?” The back of the mailer includes information which the flyer calls “facts” but the Department of Health argues much of it is inaccurate.

County residents received the mailer this past weekend, prior to the Columbia County Department of Health beginning to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to younger school-age children in a series of Pods this week.

“We didn’t know they we’re happening so soon,” Kress said. “We thought we had more time, and it took us a long time to get the mailing thing figured out because we had to do it all ourselves to save money because we don’t have any money. And we thought we had plenty of time.”

Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb encouraged people to make an informed decision about getting their children the vaccine.

“I’m not necessarily encouraging people to get it, I’m encouraging people to make an informed decision,” Mabb said. “They have free choice here. This information that’s presented in this flyer is bogus.”

The mailer claims the shot is experimental biotechnology that has never been tested on people. Mabb said that is not the case.

“It’s been in the development stage for 20 years,” Mabb said. “So it’s not new, it’s been used in clinical situations. What they’re saying is not an accurate statement.”

The vaccine is new in that is was developed specifically for COVID, Mabb said. He said it is not experimental.

“I think these numbers are bogus,” Mabb said. “Myocarditis, we saw that, I think we saw eight cases when they were in the early stages, they stopped, the CDC and the FDA and they examined it, they moved on, there’s not 10,950 cases.”

The mailing also includes a list of what it claims are the numbers of adverse reactions reported from the COVID shot.

“They don’t cite their source for any of this data,” Mabb said. “So for me as a parent out there thinking about this, one of my questions would be what is your source, where do you get this data from, can I read it myself someplace, and I don’t see it.”

Nationwide statistically about one-third of parents have said they are going to get their child the vaccine right away, Mabb said. He said another third of parents have said they are going to wait, and one-third have said they are not going to get it at all.

“Clearly, this could have an impact on those that decided that they are going to wait,” Mabb said. “But I don’t think it will be a huge impact, because I think people are savvy. They can go to the CDC website and they can look at some of the adverse affects, they can look at the research that came out with the Pfizer shot and look at what the clinical studies showed.”

Local pro-vaccine advocate Michael Richardson said the group crossed a line by sending out the mailer.

“This is sabotage,” Richardson said. “This is not just a coincidental timing that they got around to doing this. This is being done literally at the time Jack is rolling out those school pods. So we see it as a sabotage effort.”

Richardson said this is not just a matter of individual freedom of choice. He said he can be compassionate with someone who asks to not be told what to do with their own children, but this mailer is trying to cause fear and hesitation so they do not vaccinate their children.

“This is a scare campaign to increase the hesitancy that parents have towards getting their children vaccinated,” Richardson said. “It is a scare campaign, and they used the U.S. Postal Service to do it.”

Deborah Maine, professor emerita from the Columbia University School of Public Health and a member of the Columbia County Community Health Action agreed the mailers are sabotage.

“It is terrible and tragic that this group is trying to sabotage efforts to prevent COVID deaths among children in Columbia County,” Maine said. “They imply that COVID is not dangerous to children, but the CDC records show that nearly 1,000 children have already died of COVID, almost one-third of them younger than five.”

Another claim on the mailer is that “not one healthy child has died from COVID.” Maine said if you have COVID, you are not healthy.

More than 500 students have signed up to receive a COVID shot at the pods this week, Mabb said. He said 101 have signed up for the Hudson pod, 64 at New Lebanon, 78 at Taconic Hills, 229 for the Chatham firehouse pod and 32 for the Germantown pods. Children who receive a vaccine at these pods will get a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream from Stewart’s Shop.

Parents also have the option of getting their child vaccinated through pharmacies, Mabb said. Children who are vaccinated are not required to go into quarantine if they are exposed to an individual who tests positive as they are not showing symptoms. He said this saves parents from having to figure out child care if their child was potentially exposed at school.

“A lot of people have already gotten their kids vaccinated,” Mabb said. “It’s a factor, when you have your child vaccinated and they don’t have to quarantine, that’s a big thing for parents. If they’re vaccinated and they’re not showing symptoms they can still come to school, and still ride the bus and everything else.”

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(23) comments

Vanessa Spray

Thank you, Hudson Valley 360 for this balanced report. It has been two years since the first Covid case was reported and only the dissemination of responsible, balanced, scientifically accurate information will get us all to the other side of this. Thanks again.

DavidM

Interesting that the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, October 26, 2021, Meeting Document states the following:

"The size of the safety database is not large enough to detect any potential risks of myocarditis

associated with vaccination. For this reason, long-term safety of the COVID-19 vaccine in

participants 5 to <12 years of age will be studied in 5 post-authorization safety studies,

including a 5-year follow-up study to evaluate long term sequelae of post-vaccination

myocarditis/pericarditis. "

They have no idea how many of our children will be harmed by their product.

Chatham PA

I feel this anti vax group has missed the blank in their eye as they rant about reasons not to be vaccinated for COVID. The issue is COVID and preventing people dying and the multiple long term problems people infected with covid have suffered including lung restriction of breathing, liver and kidney damage, memory and balance problems and strokes and cardiac myocarditis. This is much worse then influenza infections. We have prevented infections from smallpox and polio from killing and damaging our children. We need to stay safe. Trust our health care providers and listen to their comments!

Madmax

Thank you Register Star for reporting about the anti-vaccine mailers. Of course people are free to not take the vaccine but they need to be cognizant of the fact that their actions affect others so I hope they are social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands etc. And reporting to NYS DOH when they have Covid so it can be tracked. Living in a free society we have choices AND responsibilities to our neighbors and communities.

erichkress

If you imagine that your injection works, you don't need to worry about anyone else wearing masks, etc. If you acknowledge that it doesn't work, then why encourage others to subject themselves to it?

Madmax

You can still get Covid 19 with the vaccine which is common knowledge. There are people who cannot get the vaccine for health reasons and those people are at heightened risk. That should be enough of a reason to use preventative measures if one chooses not to be vaccinated.

Liz D

Thank you, Register Star Editor and reporters for continuing to provide the community with information about the vaccine. It is unfortunate that many people still believe that the vaccine will do more harm than good. Can we agree History shows that science, for the most part has helped most people to live longer and happier lives? If those who choose not to participate in vaccination do so because of a lack of trust of science and government, in our country they are allowed to do so. But in so doing, why not mistrust everything? When you opt out, drop out. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us. Educate your own, build your own infrastructure as well, for who can be trusted? What will life be like without hospitals? Police? Roads and bridges? You and your friends will be able to retreat to where? Yes, you do have a choice, but your choice affects everyone else. Don’t be selfish, scared or narrow minded. Who remembers polio? There will be many more challenges with climate change. We will need each other. Get your shot. Keep your job. Keep your kids in school. It’s the best our society and science can do right now.

CatS

I'm relieved to read these different points of view. During the last year and a half, discussion has been prohibited. Questions are seen as a threat. Science is all about asking questions. I was thinking that instead of "hate watch", how about Love Watch? Its easy enough to find hate or create it, but I find theres much love as well. This effort to give parents information and perhaps stop them from making a hasty or fear based decision is all about love. Particularly at this time, its difficult to question and withstand the resulting attacks. I believe people mean well in general but theres been so much fear and constant disinformation surrounding disease and vaccination. Does it not seem strange that people's and children's rights are being removed if they don't obey the state or the local authorities? When has this happened before?I'm thankful for those brave enough to speak out and stand by their convictions. Their words do not force or harm anyone. The harm has been done with mandates and threats, lockdowns and masking. With love and empathy we could support each other and recognize the beauty in all our lives and the light which shines within us.

Sheri Bauer

Debate and controversy help social decision making. Blind acceptance and censorship is simply that. For people who really care about children and understand and have experienced that systems do not always act on behalf of the citizenry, I recommend the FDA’s 10/26/21 Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Panel’s meeting prior to approval. 100% certainty is not here on this panel. All FDA advisors have questions. Shouldn’t you? You will have to think and question as well and watch eight hour meetings to see the devil in the details. You will not find answers for the children nor the future in sound bites. Stay with the debate on the issue at hand, folks. The issue is “health,” and “children,” and “no harm done,”; the issue not the people you are emotionally stirred to hate. Get to work. It is important: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laaL0_xKmmA

DavidM

Are the vaccine enthusiasts on this thread aware that the childhood vaccine was altered after the very limited trials, and now contains heart medication?

This was done presumably to pre-emptively treat all children receiving the vaccine for the cases of myocarditis etc that it will cause. So, those who develop myocarditis are treated, as well as all the others without myocarditis.

That doesn't sound like medical science to me, but a last minute band-aid approach to mask the harm these shots cause. And as I said, it was not safety tested, as the change to the formulation was done after the limited, industry-funded trials. Science.

Here's one of many studies showing children are not at risk from SARS-CoV2:

Deaths in Children and Young People in England following SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first pandemic year: a national study using linked mandatory child death reporting data

"99·995% of Children & Young Persons with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test survived. The 25 CYP who died of SARS-CoV-2 equates to a mortality rate of 2/million for the 12,023,568 CYP living in England."

Dr R. Malone , one of the creators of mRNA technology used in the shots, calls it "gene therapy", and doesn't recommend it for children for that reason among others, so there's that.

The Rome Declaration signed by over 11,000 doctors & scientists calls out the unscientific public health policies of masking, lockdowns and compulsory vaccines for what they are: tragic, unscientific political intrusions into personal health decisions.

In my humble opinion people on this board need to spend a little more time considering what whistleblowing doctors and scientists the world over are telling us.

For their children's sake.

mseserman

When more than 760,000 people in the US have died from Covid-19, and for the author of the mailer to say that mainstream media is fear mongering about Covid is ridiculous. The anti vax mailer is simply irresponsible and shameful when so many people have been sickened and died from Covid. The adverse reactions referenced in the mailer is raw, unanalyzed data that is being misused to mislead people. That is a common tactic of anti vax groups to intentionally confuse the public. This is disinformation.

erichkress

257,000 people in the us die every month. Numbers, when taken out of context can be misleading. If I told you that one out of every 83 people in Columbia County will die this year, you might be shocked, if you remember that 83 is about our average life expectancy here, you may have a different idea. When one takes into consideration the financial and other incentives for labeling deaths as COVID, 760,000 isn’t really so many at all. Take the time to look up the average age of folks who “died of COVID” and see how it compares to the average life expectancy. See how it compares to the average death age from other causes.

I’m not sure what anti-vax groups you know about, or what their tactics are, but I promise you that no one involved in this mailing or in the health freedom movement here in Columbia county has any intention of confusing anyone. We have nothing to sell and only hope to profit by the satisfaction we get from helping others. We are caring people who are doing the best we can to serve our community in times when our government is not and has been captured by the pharmaceutical industry.

erichkress

The CDC recognizes that the COVID shots do not prevent infection (don't take my word for it, look it up), and therefore transmission, so the idea that children who are injected won't need to quarantine and others will, is another example of the irrational fallacies which are being implemented. It's nothing more than coercion. If parents were given and actually read the vaccine insert so as to fulfill the 'informed' part of informed consent, there would be many fewer children being injected.

mseserman

All parents by law must receive a vaccine information sheet which describes the benefits snd potential risks. Most rationale people choose the proven vaccine over the much greater risk of severe disease and death from Covid.

erichkress

There are many things which should or shouldn't be done according to the law. Unfortunately our government and health agencies distain the law and break it regularly. If you want to know, go out and ask people on the street if they are aware of the potential risks associated with these experimental injections.

Note, I say injections because they do not fit the definition of vaccines except that the CDC has changed the definition to fit them.

Jflores

As a retired educator I know the importance of consistent attendance. When students are regularly sent home to quarantine due to a positive COVID case in their class or on their school bus their learning suffers. Parents know how important it is for our children to attend school consistently. This vaccine offers us that opportunity. Parents should ignore this flyer full of falsehoods and protect their children and their education by getting their children vaccinated.

Juan Flores

Educational Outreach

Columbia County Sanctuary Movement

Hate-Watch Report

Thank you to reporter Natasha Vaughn and the Register-Star editors for reporting on this so as to inform all who received this mailer about who sent it and their ill-boding motives. As Paul Harvey would say, "and now you know the rest of the story".

DDS

It's ironic that the Do We Need This group that sent out this mailer is being accused of engaging in a scare tactics when the mainstream media and many of our elected officials have steadily engaged in fear-mongering regarding Covid for the past 20 months, even though statistically only a tiny percentage of the population is at serious risk. It's interesting that this story does not include interviews with highly qualified doctors and scientists who oppose administering Covid vaccines to children, of which there are many; it's precisely because of this sort of one-sided reporting that groups such as Do We Need This have no choice but to find other ways to publicize legitimate different points of view, such as direct mail.

erichkress

Jack Mabb cites the cdc as reference for his statement that 1,000 children have died from covid. I would encourage everyone to go on there and do some research, that’s where our numbers come from too. Check out the footnotes on our mailer before claiming we don’t give references.

If jack thinks this isn’t experimental, then I’d be happy to see the long term safety studies so that I can be sure that these injections won’t impair my child’s ability to have healthy children in twenty years, or cause hurt/him to have a heart attack at age 43. Clearly we have a different ideas of how to go about it, but we all want the same thing, happy and healthy friends, neighbors, and children. That is the sole purpose of our mailer, and if that’s what you call sabotage, then go ahead. It’s not enough to assume there’s science, one has to read it, and equally important is to know who paid for the science you are reading and find out whether or not they have a conflict of interest.

KevinO

I’m sorry, on what planet is it best to follow the misguided advice of quacks and loons instead of ending a pandemic? The science is solid and it if we all came together and got vaccinated we could continue arguing about other things. 🤣

Do us a favor antivaxxers, listen to This Week in Virology instead of Robert “Koo-koo bird” Kennedy. Follow the facts and the science, not fear and paranoia. It’s not healthy for you, your community or the planet.

Wyn

I agree with Mr Richardson that sabotage is a word easily applied to this situation. The idea that the US Postal Service could be employed in this campaign of fallacy shocks me. COVID19 is frightening: the attempt to frighten parents in this way is even more frightening.

.

TeresaB

Thank you for covering this story. It is regrettable that a group spreads such misinformation and disinformation to their fellow residents. Our county Health Department deserves a lot of thanks and credit for doing so much for the health and safety of our residents, including the many vaccination PODs.

stonenervegirl

Thank you for reporting on the negative impact snd misinformation of antivaxxer propaganda. I was appalled to receive the mailer and called the Hudson post office to retest its delivery. Laurie Stone

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