CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - State and local health leaders say there is now a good supply of the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, they are noticing a dip in demand.
“I would rate it as pretty bleak,” Dr. Rene Anikwue of Wendover Primary Care said.
Wendover Primary Care began offering the vaccine to patients last week.
Dr. Anikwue expected there to be high demand for the vaccine since they are located in an area that is easily accessible for people who rely on public transportation.
“We get a lot of people that cancel or don’t show up,” Dr. Anikwue said. “I think there is a lot of hindrances. People who wanted the vaccine already got it. So, I the people who are skeptical are still iffy about it.”
Mecklenburg County Public Health leaders say they are noticing a drop in demand at Bojangles Coliseum too.
“What we’re seeing to some extent is a lack of urgency compared to what we saw early on in the vaccination process,” Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris said.
Mecklenburg County opened another block of vaccine appointments at Bojangles Coliseum Wednesday morning.
Health leaders say it will be the final round of appointments.
First dose appointments will be scheduled up until April 30. Second doses for those who booked first-dose appointments will be administered in May. Walk-ins will be available until the clinic at Bojangles Coliseum closes after May 22.
“We are looking at closing down Bojangles because there are a number of other large sites that are readily accessible to individuals,” Harris said.
When the clinic at Bojangles Coliseum is closed, Harris says the county will focus on targeting the vaccine to people who are hesitant or who are not going out of their way to get it.
“It’s not necessarily everybody saying, ‘I don’t want the vaccine’,” Harris said. “We do have some on the fence, but in some situations, if you are readily available to them in an easy access situation where they don’t have to make an appointment, they don’t have to take off work.
“They can just say, ‘I’m here and the vaccine is here, I’ll get it.’ There’s a great chance that we’ll get some of our especially younger population vaccinated. They just aren’t taking the time and energy it takes to get the vaccine.”
Harris and Dr. Meg Sullivan with Mecklenburg County say they will host smaller vaccination clinics at churches, recreation centers, breweries, and other targeted locations.
Dr. Anikwue hopes that more people will notice that smaller practices are also offering the vaccine now that the supply is adequate.
“A lot of people don’t know we have the vaccine,” Dr. Anikwue said. “They think they have to go to Novant, CVS, or Harris Teeter.”
As of Thursday, Harris reports nearly 34 percent of Mecklenburg County’s total population received at least one dose of the vaccine. She estimates nearly 22 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated.
To book an appointment through Mecklenburg County click here: or call 980-314-9400
To book an appointment at Wendover Primary Care call 704-364-4216