FAYETTE CO, PA (KDKA) – The supply is here, but the vaccine demand is way down.
“Today we have a clinic in Connellsville that’s only about half filled. So, we are trying to figure out if we are at the end, the end for a need for mass clinics or not but we aren’t throwing in the towel just yet,” said Fayette County Commissioner Scott Dunn.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Ending Extended Jobless Benefits, Unemployment Rate Falls Below 5%
Dunn told KDKA the county has vaccinated about 47 percent of the adult population, which is a number county leaders anticipated to be way higher by this point.
“We talk about a racial inequity in the inner cities, there’s a rural inequity in Fayette County. I don’t want an 85-year-old grandmother to drive 30 miles on rural country roads to get a vaccine,” Dunn said.
Convenience is a key element when we talk about geographically large counties.
Dunn said he’s worked with the state to increase allocations for rural providers plus the county is opening up clinics on the weekends and with evening hours to gauge that demand.READ MORE: Hundreds March Through Pittsburgh In Solidarity With Palestine
But there is a divide. Some people just don’t want the vaccine or don’t trust the government. That’s why the governor is hoping people will turn to those people they do trust.
“I think there’s always going to be a small group that is just no way, but a lot of hesitancy is people sitting on the fence and I think to those folks, it’s the special relationships they have with a doctor or a nurse someone they trust, even another family member,” said Gov. Tom Wolf.
In the meantime, the providers are fighting to fill those empty slots and not waste any vaccine doses.
“When you crack open a vial, there’s six doses in there so you can’t just have one person on your list, you need six. So we are trying to coordinate all that and if we can get more people on our list to know who we have to vaccinate, it will help us out,” Dunn said.MORE NEWS: 'A Solemn Day For A Solemn Ride': Local Police Honor Fallen Officers With Memorial Ride
Fayette County has also set up a homebound program to get people vaccinated and is working with the Area Agency on Aging to get messaging out about clinics and transportation.