HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — The effects of declining vaccination rates in our region are becoming more apparent.
In Cabell County, a major change has taken place which people seeking vaccinations should know about.
While more people are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccinations than ever before, the demand for those shots is continuing to dip. It’s cause one major vaccine clinic in Huntington to scale down operations.
The drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic at St. Mary’s Center for Education is no longer there. It’s moved to the Centennial Fire Station in downtown Huntington.
“This is our drive-thru COVID vaccine clinic. We’re offering all three shots: Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson,” says Victor Workman, critical care educator for Cabell County Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Despite being one of the major vaccination sites in the county, those who run it say they needed to change things up.
“We’ve also seen a drop in the amount of response to the shots…We were having a considerable amount of people from the community walking up, we wanted to seek out an avenue where we could provide them shelter from both the heat and inclement weather,” Workman says.
For that clinic, the demand for COVID-19 shots has dropped by nearly 75 percent in recent weeks.
“The majority have been vaccinated with at least one dose, if they’re eligible. We have about 44 percent that are fully vaccinated,” says Dr. Michael Kilkenny, CEO and health officer for the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.
Officials with the health department hope new incentive programs within the state will help fight that decrease in demand.
With incentives like cash, free tuition, guns, and hunting and fishing licenses already dangling—
“We’re expecting that that’s gonna help get us to the goals we set,” Kilkenny says.
The drive-thru clinic at the fire station is only running on Thursdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm, no appointment necessary.
The fire station is still fully operations while the clinic is there—they just park their firetrucks outside.
For more information about the vaccination clinics in Cabell County, visit the health department’s website here.