DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Some doctors and health officials across the Miami Valley say they’re concerned about the recent decline in interest in the COVID-19 vaccine and are looking at ways to reverse the downward trend.
While appearing on the CBS program “Face the Nation” Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohio’s vaccination rate has dropped by half over the past three weeks. Ohio opened vaccinations to all adults less than a month ago.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, about 40 percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I didn’t want to get sick, and I just felt like it was the thing to do,” said Vailous Moore of New Lebanon, who is waiting to receive his second dose.
“It’s very important to get that vaccine just to keep yourself safe and keep everyone else safe,” said Bennie Moore of Kettering, who wants to get vaccinated.
But some people say they do not plan to get the shot. Ryan Stidham of Miamisburg told 2 NEWS he’s concerned about the safety of the vaccine.
“They put it out too soon, and I don’t trust it, and from what the Johnson [& Johnson] vaccine just happened, because of that as well,” Stidham said.
Doctors are working to reassure their patients and the public the vaccines are safe and effective.
Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer of Miami Valley Hospital, told 2 NEWS the temporary Johnson & Johnson pause that was recently lifted is proof that officials are being very careful.
“Safety was of such paramount importance that they stopped an entire vaccination campaign for something that was occurring at the rate of less than one in a million,” said Dr. Colon, who added that the drop in COVID-19 vaccinations in the area is “concerning.”
Amid the decline in visitors to vaccination clinics, several local health departments are bringing the vaccine directly to businesses. That includes Greene County Public Health, which within the past month has dropped from a peak of administering about 1,500 doses per week to 350, said spokesperson Laurie Fox.
“We were just outside of Foy’s just recently in Fairborn,” Fox said. “We were at a local Thai restaurant.”
Fox said she is optimistic her team can get their vaccination numbers back up.
Meanwhile, Stidham said he hasn’t closed the door completely on getting vaccinated.
“If I talked to a health care professional and have a one-on-one conversation and get that experience with them and the reassurance,” Stidham said.
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