DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Miami Valley health leaders think part of the vaccine decline could be a mix of COVID-fatigue and the perception that restrictions won’t change even if someone gets vaccinated.
However, some doctors believe people who have gotten their shots might be too quick to let their guard down.
“I think unfortunately some of that messaging is self imposed, some people feel very hopeful with the vaccine and losing hope when restrictions don’t go away and that’s not how we should view it,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer at Miami Valley Health.
With over 40 percent of the state having received at least one dose of a vaccine, health leaders say herd immunity is an important factor to seeing life return to normal.
“This is not an immediate ‘we got vaccines, we’re done,’” said Colon. “If everybody got vaccinated and we got to herd immunity in a month that would change the message immensely but that’s not how things panned out.”
Local restaurants say they’ve seen people start to relax and forget safety guidelines after getting vaccinated.
“They’re more comfortable manners, we have to remind them to put their masks on,” said Brad Hull, manager of Jimmie’s Ladder 11. “Everyone is definitely a lot more comfortable after getting their second dose thinking they’re ready to roll.”
However, hope is not gone. Each time an Ohioan’s sleeve is pushed up and dose administered, the community is one step closer to no restrictions.
“What we need to realize is if we really want to beat this pandemic, we have to gradually move out of restrictions which is what we’re already starting to see.”
Right now, health leaders estimate the state will need to have 75 to 80 percent of residents vaccinated to reach herd immunity.