CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - COVID-19 vaccine supply continues to outweigh demand in North Carolina.
In Mecklenburg County, the shot is available through the hospital systems or the health department without an appointment.
Despite that, some people are either not feeling a sense of urgency or are choosing not to get the shot.
This comes at a time when cases and hospitalizations are ticking upwards. The percent positivity for cases in North Carolina is now at 7.4 percent.
“We’re seeing more positive cases and hospitalizations than we were a month ago,” Dr. David Priest with Novant Health said.
Dr. Priest says patients contracting COVID-19 are getting younger.
“We’re able to handle the demand in the hospitals, but we don’t want people to have to be hospitalized when we have a highly effective vaccine literally across the street from the hospital that could’ve prevented it,” he said.
According to NCDHHS data, about 35 percent of people age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.
About 70 percent of people age 65 and older have been fully vaccinated.
Only about 27 percent of the state’s total population is fully vaccinated.
Demand for the shot is leveling.
“The longer it takes us to get the pandemic under control, the more opportunity for mutations and variants to be created that elude the vaccine themselves,” Dr. Priest said.
The mad rush for the vaccine has faded, so providers are trying to make it easier for people who feel less urgency.
Walk ins now available at many clinics and hours are extended beyond the work day.
“I’ve also heard, ‘if you’re safe and you’ve gotten it why do you care about me?’” Dr. Priest said.
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He wants young adults not worried about contracting the virus to consider others.
“You have to realize individuals who are older and maybe are immunosuppressed, they don’t always respond to the vaccines like someone younger and healthier,” he said. “If you’re young and healthy and getting the vaccine you’re protecting those people.”
Doctors say the main trends with hesitancy seem to be among populations of young age, minority groups, and anti-vaccination ideologies.