DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Miami Valley’s health leaders say they were hopeful for a higher percentage of residents being vaccinated as Vax-a-Million winners were being announced each week.
When the Vax-a-Million lottery was announced, over 44% of the state had received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of today, that number has increased to around 47%. Health leaders say they were hopeful for a much bigger push.
“Honestly I think the politicians and health care providers would like to see that number higher,” said Dr. Joseph Allen, regional medical director for Miami Valley Hospital.
Over half of the state remains unvaccinated as the fourth winners of the Vax-a-Million lottery were announced. Dr. Allen believes there are three types of people in the state: ones who got vaccinated right away, some that are on the fence and others who will never get vaccinated.
“I would say the way to actually get them vaccinated is to actually pull back and don’t push it so hard,” said Allen. “They’re the type that acts like a teenage kid, when you tell them don’t do something, they will do it. So, at the same time, there’s a give and take there.”
Nearly 45% of Montgomery County residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, the second highest in the Miami Valley. However, other health leaders believe herd immunity isn’t possible until the vaccines are approved for kids 11 and younger.
“Right now, the vaccine is only approved for children 12 and up but younger people can still get COVID-19,” said Dan Suffoletto, public information supervisor form Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. “Until there’s more vaccination among the larger population as a whole, herd immunity is way far off.”
As of Wednesday night, the state’s case average is around 36 cases per 100,000 residents, well below the previous 50 case average goal for all health restrictions to be removed.