It makes perfect sense in the upside-down world of COVID-19 that as infection rates slowly rise, the demand for more vaccinations slowly declines.
In Columbia County, the Department of Health reported two new COVID-related deaths Monday. The latest deaths bring the toll of COVID fatalities in the county up to 93 since the beginning of the pandemic.
So what happens? At a vaccination pod last Friday, the county had 220 shots available but were able to administer only 121. As of Thursday afternoon, the county had only 50 people sign up for that pod. The department of health call center had to reach out to local businesses, restaurants in particular, and got more people signed up to receive the vaccine.
“We’re in the same shape that everyone around us is,” Columbia County Health Department Director Jack Mabb said Tuesday.
Sadly, Mabb is right. In Greene County, Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, of New Baltimore, said fewer people are vying for vaccine appointments than in past months. As the supply of vaccines has increased in the state and more people have received their vaccinations, there has not been the same demand for those appointments.
“It’s like any other virus,” Linger said last week. “I think there’s always going to be a certain percentage that is always going to be there.”
That is a dim forecast for the impending summer. We’re seeing the number of deaths in this region starting to creep up again, yet fewer people here are seeking vaccinations. That doesn’t add up. If we are to defeat COVID, as many people as possible must be vaccinated. It’s far better to be inoculated than to risk another coronavirus wave.