ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It has been nearly two months since local mass-vaccination hubs closed. For several weeks now, the percentage of those unvaccinated has trended upwards slightly.
Rochester resident Heather Campbell attended — Edgerton R-Center, a local COVID-19 vaccination site —with her 14-year-old son Ayden, who recently got his shot. “He didn’t want to get it right away,” Campbell said.
Students, community members and unvaccinated people want to be ready for fall. For some, getting the shot takes times to process and work through nerves. Heather says this was also the case for her — who got vaccinated earlier this month.
“Took me a while to get it but I did,” Campbell said. “I was really scared of the after effects, the morning after, being really sick, it just really terrified me. Hearing stories from people that did get sick from it.”
Dr. Stephen Cook is a pediatrician who works as clinical lead for Monroe County vaccine sites. He believes fear is a common reason people might delay getting vaccinated.
“Do people experience side effects? Yes,” Dr. Cook said. “Headaches, fatigue, some things like that lasts for a day, maybe fever, chills, that’s the immune system ramping up.”
The Delta variant appears to spread rapidly within the unvaccinated population — the group most at risk right now.
“The reality is that this virus isn’t going to go away,” Dr. Cook said. “There’s been peaks and valleys — on demand — and I think we are getting a little bit more of an interest now.”
Dr. Cook says this is largely a result of delta variant concerns, a new school year approaching, new college semester approaching and the arrival of Fall.
But, a poll conducted by The Associated Press suggests it might be tricky.
According to the poll of among 1,308 unvaccinated adults between July 15 and July 19, 35% say they will probably not get the shot and 45% say they will definitely not get the shot. Just 3% say they definitely will get the shots, though another 16% say they probably will.
Still across Monroe County, hundreds of thousands remain eligible for the vaccine. Health officials are prioritizing the neighborhoods with low vaccine rates, getting through to them with mobile vaccine sites, one-on-one conversations and education.
So far in Monroe County, 61% of the total population have at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the most recent update from the county’s Department of Public Health.