Vaccine hesitancy from middle age group hurting herd immunity in Mercer County

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia dominated the country with the vaccine rollout, but now things are looking a little different in the two Virginia’s.

Mercer County Health Director Roger Topping, said they’ve even cut down on the number of clinics because vaccine rates are so low.

“We’re doing one day a week simply because we have had very few people come to the clinics to get their vaccines. Two weeks ago I think we had ninety in two days and last week we didn’t even have that many,” said Topping.

From multiple clinics per week and hundreds of vaccines given out each day, that has now dropped to just dozens a day. Topping said two main age groups that are eligible for the vaccines continue to take advantage, but one group is not.

“It’s the middle aged people that, I don’t know how in the world somebody could still think that it’s not real,” said Topping.

Whether they believe COVID-19 is a hoax or not, Topping said a substantial number of this age group are potentially stopping the region from reaching herd immunity. However, to combat that, he said more younger people are signing up.

“With summer here and schools are out, we are seeing some parents bring their kids to the clinics. I’d like to see more, I’d like to see a lot more of them come,” said Topping.

Topping said now with the variants hitting surrounding counties and even Mercer County, the need to get vaccinated is even more dire. He is hopeful this wave of young people opting in will push the middle aged groups to go ahead and get it as well. Topping said the best way to beat COVID-19 and the variants, is to get vaccinated.

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