ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is decreasing, causing health leaders to think of new and creative ways to get the vaccine into the community.
At the start of the year, long lines and vaccine shortages plagued the community, but now there is a surplus of COVID vaccinations. In order to reach more people, efforts are transitioning from mass vaccination sites to small community-based clinics.
“We’ve realized that the demand has dropped off dramatically over the course of last month or so, and so we are now focusing our efforts at brining vaccine to the people,” said Dr. Nancy Bennett, Lead for Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine HUB.
Almost 60% of Finger Lakes residents have at least one dose. Over 500,000 have completed their vaccination series. But looking at the data by age group, numbers are still low in populations 34 and under.
“I think there’s some thinking that even if they got covid they wouldn’t get that sick so why should they get vaccinated if they get vaccinated will they miss a day at work and they don’t want to do that,” said Dr. Laurie Dononhue, MD chief medical officer Jordan health.
And rural communities like Wyoming and Yates County are still trailing behind Monroe County’s average. This is why organizations like Jordan Health and the Finger Lakes Vaccine HUB are creating community-based vaccination clinics, with a focus on spreading information and answering questions.
“What we’re seeing at this point is not so much that people are opposed to it but again they just have questions,” said Dr. Dononhue.
“We’re going to things like the bus station in downtown. There are a number of clinics in rec centers. Really trying to find places where people gather and offer vaccines at those places,” said Dr.Bennett.
Leaders say people are still getting the shot, just at a slower rate than the start of the year. They are however optimistic that we can reach president’s goal of 70% of the population vaccinated by July 4th.