TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Though many people are beginning to return to their normal lives, the number of people signing up to receive their COVID-19 vaccination is on a decline.
Dr. Jim Turner, chairman for the Vigo County Board of Health says the United States has administered over 300 million vaccines but that number is not increasing the way health officials would like.
“I think because the vaccine has been so good, people are less fearful that they’re going to get it is the only thing I can figure out because we’ve certainty made it easy for people,” said Dr. Turner. “You can almost call, almost walk right in and get vaccine multiple places in this county.”
Union Health on Tuesday announced it will be phasing out its COVID-19 Clinic at the Professional Office Building. Wednesday will be the last day to receive a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the clinic.
The clinic will officially close as of June 30. The COVID-19 Hotline, which has helped thousands of patients throughout the Wabash Valley navigate the virus, will also close on June 30.
According to Union Health representatives, a growing number of locations are now offering the vaccine, both locally and throughout the state of Indiana.
In Illinois, assistant administrator of the Edgar County Health Department Monica Dunn said, they started seeing a decrease in vaccinations at the end of April. Almost 30 percent of Edgar County is fully vaccinated but, Dunn said many people still have reservations about receiving the vaccine.
“I think people are concerned because of the short trial period,” Dunn. “People are just uncertain of what kinds of things could happen as a result of getting the vaccine and not having it tried and tested for many, many years. I think also people are afraid of the side effects.”
Although some people may still have concerns about the vaccine, Dr. Turner says the virus poses serious risks including long terms symptoms. He adds that about 10 percent of people who do contract the virus develop post COVID syndrome with symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath that last longer than 12 weeks.
“Union Hospital over the last several months since the vaccine became available, we’ve had a 103 patients admitted to our COVID unit,” said Dr. Turner. “Of those 103 patients, only one person was vaccinated. So the point is, if you’re vaccinated, you are not going to end up in the hospital. Those same statistics are what we’re seeing nationwide.”