CDC shows vaccine demand slowing; expert says that could delay herd immunity

It’s now easier to get a coronavirus vaccine, but new data shows the demand is slowing down.

We spoke to a health expert who says this is not the time to let your guard down.

A chart from the CDC shows the number of daily vaccine doses administered across the United States. After April 9, the numbers started dropping.

“I think the big surprise is the decline that we’ve seen,” said Robert Hawkes, the director of FGCU’s physician assistant program. “Are people resistant to the vaccine? Do they not really believe that it’s true science? Are they concerned about, ‘Well, enough people are getting it, so I don’t have to get the vaccine?’”

The daily vaccine numbers are also dropping in Florida, including in Southwest Florida.

“It means we may not reach herd immunity as quickly as was anticipated,” Hawkes said. “And that’s kind of been the plan for the fall and getting things back to normal. So if we’re delayed in getting that, it just allows the COVID to continue to spread and the potential development of these variants.”

Florida Department of Health in Lee County says demand for the shots has been dropping since early April.

Florida Department of Health in Collier County also said it’s seeing a decline in people signing up for their shot.

“We know that the more people that get the vaccine, the more protection we can get,” Hawkes said. “So we don’t want to see the numbers continue to decrease. We want them to increase so people can get the vaccine, which is going to keep us safe as a community.”

Health departments in Southwest Florida say they’re working with community partners to educate people about the vaccine to reach vaccine goals.

As of Wednesday, more than a quarter of the population has been fully vaccinated, and over half of the United States has received at least one dose.

Medical experts believe 70% to 90% of the U.S. would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

MORE: Trends in Number of COVID-19 Vaccinations in the US

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.