Vaccine appointments left unfilled in Hamilton County, officials say

Hamilton County vaccine clinics unable to fill appointments, officials say

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Almost half of the Hamilton County population is vaccinated, but Hamilton County health officials say there is a decrease in people getting it.

Around 45% of eligible Hamilton County residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine, according to officials.

County health leaders say there are plenty of vaccines to go around, but fewer people are wanting to get them.

“We are seeing it a lot more difficult to fill appointments right now,” Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said. “Two weeks ago, if you tried to get a vaccine, it was really hard to get an appointment anywhere, and over the last two weeks, we’ve transitioned to finally having spots available for people to be able to get vaccinated.”

Paul Brown Stadium was turned into a mass vaccine site this past weekend.

The site had enough vaccines for 5,000 people, but only a portion of the appointments was filled.

“We did vaccinate a thousand people,” explained Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus. “I don’t want to lose that. It wasn’t 5,000, but it was 1,000, and so maybe these smaller sites that we’ve been doing are also really important to make sure that people have a comfort level when they go out to get the vaccine.”

It seems younger people are a little hesitant about getting the vaccine, Commissioner Driehaus said.

“I’ve heard anecdotally that some of them have had it and are like, ‘eh, I don’t need to get vaccinated,’ and I’m like, ‘no, no, no, no, no. You do need to get vaccinated,’” said Driehaus. “And so, in order to achieve the herd immunity that we need, so we can stop wearing masks and start going to restaurants at full capacity, we all need to get vaccinated.”

Commissioner Driehaus is also encouraging African American residents to get vaccinated.

“Last week at the briefing, we had Bishop Bobby Hilton on, he’s an older African American man, he had COVID, and he had to be hospitalized, and now he has to carry oxygen with him because of the long-term impact of COVID-19,” explained Driehaus. “He’s now vaccinated, and he’s distributing vaccine out of his church. So, we had Bobby on to talk about what it means to be in the African American community and be a leader and encourage people to get vaccinated.”

Hamilton County used a drive-thru vaccine clinic on Monday. If it seems like people like it, officials say they might use more drive-thru clinics.

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