Demand For COVID-19 Vaccine Slows Down In Western Pennsylvania

Providers say they are struggling to fill appointment slots at vaccine clinics in the area; KDKA's Andy Sheehan reports.

Video Transcript

KYM GABLE: Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be slowing dramatically here in our region. First-time vaxxers are now far fewer at pharmacies and clinics. Andy Sheehan spoke with providers about whether we've reached a tipping point and what that all means.

ANDY SHEEHAN: The providers say we've reached a point where most everyone who wants the vaccine has already gotten at least one dose. Now, they say their job is to convince reluctant people to get it.

At Wilson's Pharmacy in Bloomfield, anyone can walk in off the street and get vaccinated. No appointments necessary.

SID LAMBERT: I just walked in, signed up. Easy.

ANDY SHEEHAN: But folks like Sid Lambert are few and far between. Still steady are those coming in for their second dose, but first-time vaxxers have slowed to a trickle.

JEFF WILSON: Early on, we had these huge lines, and, you know, now, if we do have lines, they're very short.

ANDY SHEEHAN: And there was no line to speak of at this mass clinic at Pittsburgh Mills, sponsored by the Allegheny Health Network.

IMRAN QADEER: All adults 16 and above are open at this point, but we're not seeing all of our appointments fill up in our mass vaccination clinics.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Demand for the vaccine has slowed down markedly. This clinic was supposed to be appointment only for 7,000 first doses, but they couldn't fill them. So, now, they've opened it up to walk-ins and still won't be able to use the supply they have on hand.

IMRAN QADEER: So I think there is a vaccine hesitancy.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Though the vaccine is now available to young people, a recent Quinnipiac Poll says they're least likely to get it. 36% of adults under 35 say they don't intend to get the vaccine. The hesitation may grow with reports of rare side effects.

IMRAN QADEER: If there's one in a million that occurs, would strongly recommend that everyone get vaccinated because the benefits outweigh the risk.

ARUN DATTA: I got a text and-- said that they were having walk-ins here.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Walk-in Arun Datta was hesitant, but decided to come down.

ARUN DATTA: I had to get off the fence and say, this is something I need to get done. And I have an older mother that I need to take care of. And it's not only for my protection. It's for other people's protection as well.

ANDY SHEEHAN: And the providers say their job is now shifting to get people who are on the fence to come in and get vaccinated, especially young people.

Reporting on the North Shore, Andy Sheehan, KDKA News.