Local health departments see decrease in people at COVID-19 vaccination clinics

Local News

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — When the COVID-19 vaccine first entered the mountain state, cars lined up at vaccine clinics. The older generation was one of the first groups to get it, and they could not wait to be protected.

Now local COVID-19 vaccine clinics are seeing a decrease in the number of cars in line.

“It was one of those things where we didn’t have enough vaccines and we couldn’t get enough vaccines to the state. And now we’re seeing a slow down and it’s like that across the country,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, the State’s Health Officer.

The Fayette County Health Department holds vaccine clinics weekly. Dr. Anita Stewart said they used to order about 1,000 vaccines for their clinic. Now, they only order 200 to 300.

She said one of the factors is people can get vaccinated at more convenient locations.

“When we have people scheduled out in a week and they go online and see ‘Oh I can get mine today, at a Pharmacy or at New River or in Rainelle’, a lot of people want that. But again, it’s vaccines in arms and that’s the most important thing,” Stewart said.

Stewart said you also have to look at the demographic. The older generation was more at risk, and therefore eager to get the vaccine. Now it is the younger generation’s turn, and they are less concerned about the virus. And that poses a bigger problem.

“We’re seeing spread in those demographics,” Stewart said.

Stewart said they will continue to provide these clinics, even if that means possibly wasting vaccine doses at the end of the day. State health officer Dr. Ayne Amjad agrees.

“I’d rather you vaccinate four people, and not use two doses, rather than you turn away four people because you couldn’t get six people in the clinic. Because you could save those four people’s lives,” Amjad said.

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