NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — The Hamilton County Health Department is choosing to once again close the mass vaccination site at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds. Vaccinations will soon be given out at the Hamilton County Health Dept. office.
”We’ve seen our demand drop for vaccines for first dose, second dose, booster and pediatric, so we wanted to be able to free up this space, free up some staffing and move into a more appropriately sized space,” said Christian Walker, the public health preparedness coordinator for the Hamilton County Health Department.
As December ended and January began, Walker said they were giving out 400 vaccine doses a day. But demand has tapered off in the last few weeks. Nowadays, Walker said they’re giving out about 100 vaccine doses a day.
”Through delta and omicron is when we were really seeing a lot of people in here getting vaccinated,” Walker said.
Across the state and country, we’re seeing this same trend: a decrease in COVID vaccine demand.
”I think that fear did drive people initially to go out and get vaccinated,” said Dr. Brian Dixon, the director of public health informatics at the Regenstrief Institute.
Dr. Dixon said concern over omicron and delta, plus people wanting to get vaccinated for the holidays, was part of the reason for the surge in doses.
”I think many people feel this current wave of infection is over, and they may not be as motivated to get out and be vaccinated,” Dr. Dixon said.
Now, another drop in vaccination rates is concerning Dr. Dixon.
”It means it’s going to be hard for us to really predict with certainty that we’re not going to see another wave,” he said.
Dr. Dixon said he could see an increase in vaccine demand again if there was another surge in cases, another booster approved or kids younger than five years old get the okay to be vaccinated.
”There is a lot of data to suggest they are safe, even for those younger kids, so that builds pressure to make them eligible,” Dr. Dixon said.
If vaccine demand does increase again, Walker said the health department has the freedom to go back to the fairgrounds as needed.
”If we see the demand go up we will certainly look at moving back out here,” he said.
COVID vaccines will still be given out at the 4-H Fairgrounds through Friday, Feb. 18 and will then move to the Hamilton County Health Dept. building on Monday, Feb 21.