Upstate & Western NC Medical professionals noticing decrease in demand for COVID vaccines

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HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – There is a fresh push towards COVID vaccine education in South Carolina and North Carolina. This comes as a handful of counties are reporting a surplus in COVID vaccine doses but a decrease in demand.

“Few weeks ago we had a shortage, now have plenty of vaccine,” said David Church with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.

A new obstacle within the battle against COVID-19.

“Our concern, certainly the sense of vaccine hesitancy of the vaccine in recent weeks, days especially with the announcement of Johnson and Johnson,” Church said during Monday evening’s Spartanburg City Council meeting.

Medical professionals now have enough COVID vaccines on hand but in some cases, not as many arms signing up to get one.

“There is a drop in the demand that we’ve seen,” said Andrew Mundhenk with the Henderson County Department of Public Health.

That’s the case across state lines in Henderson County.

“We have been receiving the Pfizer vaccine and with Pfizer, it’s a minimum shipment of around 1,100 doses so you pretty much have to know what you’re gong to do with it before you take it. We’ve been using what we had and other providers have also been giving us their supply for us to use to make sure we’re not wasting any supply the county already has here. We don’t plan to take on allocation this week for first dose appointments,” Mundhenk told 7 News.

Andrew Mundhenk with the department said, it’s all part of a trend they’re tracking.

“The model is shifting from large-scale capacity to a model of convenience, people now want to get their shot at the store when they’re grocery shopping, they want to get their shot after work,” said Mundhenk.

Some healthcare providers serving that area like Pardee UNC Healthcare, are moving away from the mass vaccine clinic approach. Their focus is turning towards urgent care clinics and employers.

But even though the demand is slowing, medical professionals urge, now’s not the time to let down your guard.

“Lets keep pushing, we are so close. We are very, very close,” Church said.

A spokesperson with the Henderson County Health Department told us right now, they are keeping their mass vaccination sites open. Same goes at Spartanburg Regional.

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