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Vaccine Tracker: Demand is down for COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana.

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - On this edition of the Vaccine Tracker, we’re tracking the drop in demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana. This as Indiana and Michigan are nowhere near herd immunity from the virus.

I noticed this trend on Wednesday this week while on the state’s vaccine dashboard, you can find that here: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/2680.htm

This graph shows the doses per day in Indiana, you can see the sharp drop off. The line you see indicates the seven day average for vaccines going into arms each day:

Vaccine Doses Down in Indiana
Vaccine Doses Down in Indiana(WNDU)

I reached out to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) for a reason for the decrease, and they did acknowledge the issue, however they did not provide an answer as to why this decline is happening. Here is their statement:

“Indiana, like other states, has seen demand for vaccine decline in some locations, and we continue to promote the safety and efficacy of vaccine to those age groups and locations where vaccine uptake is lower. We also are working to allow walk-in appointments at more than 700 sites across the state to further ensure that vaccine is accessible to every Hoosier who is eligible. We also continue to use mobile units to reach areas where accessibility may be an issue, as well as holding walk-in clinics such as the one in Gary, and mass vaccination clinics.”

I checked in with Kosciusko County’s Health Department (KCHD) today to see if they are seeing a similar drop in demand for the COVID-19 vaccine and officials tell me they are.

When the KCHD began vaccinating at their site they were doing about 100 doses per day. For the last four weeks, they were up to 400 doses per day during Indiana’s expanded eligibility and moving to 16 and up eligible for the vaccine. Now, KCHD says they have dipped down to around 250 doses per day just this week.

This correlates with what we are seeing from the at the state. On April 1st, Indiana reported 71,079 total vaccines were given. April 7th had 74,674 total vaccines given. Moving a week later that drops down to 63,213 total vaccines given on April 14th. April 20th seeing an even bigger decrease to 47,625 total vaccines given.

“It’s nice that people are getting vaccinated, I wish more would, but again it’s a choice thing. People are going to do what they want. I just hope it’s not going to cause people to end up being hospitalized and being where we were last year, you know, everybody being quarantined and stuck at home. That’s no fun,” Jeanne DeWilde, Chief Public Health Nurse at KCHD says.

Like many other areas across the country, Kosciusko County is fighting distrust and vaccine hesitancy.

“I think people who have wanted it have received it. Some people have been hesitant on receiving it to begin with and whenever Johnson & Johnson was pulled because of the blood clots, I think that sort of put a slide on some of the people’s opinions on getting it or not getting it,” DeWilde adds.

Kosciusko County says they’ll be happy to reach just 30% fully vaccinated. As of the date of this article, the county sits at about 24.6%.

We’ll continue to track this trend throughout Michiana as a drop in vaccination rates could mean slower progress toward herd immunity from COVID-19, or perhaps not even reaching it if enough people refuse to get vaccinated.

As always, I want to hear from you. Email me at zach.horner@wndu.com or find me on Facebook and send a message if you have an issue or idea of something we can dig into on the Vaccine Tracker.

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