ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Roughly 45-50% of adults in Albemarle County and Charlottesville are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus according to UVA Health. Now, the vaccine supply in the area is starting to outpace demand.
Dr. Costi Sifri says a switch has been flipped: “I don’t think we’re seeing a plateau yet, but we are seeing a point in time now where the supply of vaccine is exceeding demand,” the doctor said. “The vaccine rates for new vaccinations, for first dose vaccinations, is starting to drop nationwide, and we’re seeing a bit of that here in our area.”
As of Friday, April 30, UVA Health says it has administered 100,686 doses of vaccine and it wants to keep the momentum going.
“I think we’re trying to finish out,” UVA Medical Center CEO Wendy Horton said. “We do have supply now, and so I think it’s encouraging others and addressing vaccine hesitancy. That’s where we need to focus moving forward.”
With steady influx of supply and nearly half of Charlottesville and the surrounding area fully vaccinated, Dr. Sifri approves of the softer restrictions from the CDC.
“The risk for acquisition of COVID is low when you’re outside, and if you couple that with the protected from vaccine, it really becomes extremely low,” he said.
As crowds begin to dwindle and appointments are more widely available, UVA Health is also in talks about what to do about mass vaccination sites such as the Seminole Square location and old JC Penny site.
“I think we’ll see a movement to consolidate, but then also needing a different approach of maybe going to people and having different venues of delivering vaccination moving forward,” Horton said.
UVA Health will start rolling out more Johnson & Johnson vaccination shots next week, but Dr. Sifri says they have plenty of Pfizer doses on hand for people who are hesitant and want an alternative option.