Decline in vaccine interest could delay Indiana’s goal of herd immunity

The Daily Reformer

INDIANAPOLIS — Health experts are seeing a decline in vaccinations nationwide. At one point many were rushing to schedule appointments but that’s no longer the case in some areas.

“What we’re seeing is interest in the vaccine is weaning a little bit across the state,” said Regenstrief Institute, Director of Public Health and Informatic, Dr. Brian Dixion.

Health experts say that could impact Indiana’s goal of reaching herd immunity by Memorial Day, pushing it to June or July.

“What we’re looking for is something around in the range of sort of 60 to 80 percent of the population to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Dr. Dixon.

Right now, only 40% of Hoosiers are fully vaccinated. Dr. Dixon says that’s due to many factors.

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 “The slowdown in part could be due to the J&J vaccine,” said Dr. Dixon.

That vaccine was being administered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) before the pause last week. IMS is currently offering Moderna and since then they’ve seen a decline in interest.

“At the motor speedway we are blessed to have 20 garages fully staffed and we can vaccinate up to 6,000 people a day,” said IU Health, Director of Infection Prevention, Kristen Kelley.

Now they’re vaccinating only 4 to 5,000 Hoosier per day. Kelley says the “no show” rate has also increased since the switch.

“The percentage changed from around 6 percent to around 20 percent. And it got a little more pronounced as the week went along,” said Kelley.

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That’s not the case in Hamilton County.

“Our booking is about 99.9 percent for the next two weeks. :44 we do see a little down trend the third week,” Said Hamilton County, Public Health Preparedness Coordinator, Christian Walker.

By the end of Tuesday 100,000 Hamilton county residents will be fully vaccinated. That’s a third of the population.

In Marion county, 200,637 residents are vaccinated, that’s a little less than 21% of the county’s population.

To combat those ‘no shows’ and continue pushing toward herd immunity IMS isn’t requiring appointments from Saturday through the end of the month.


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