Decline in vaccine interest is hurting push for herd immunity in Columbiana County, health officials say

Coronavirus

To beat a virus 70-80% of a population needs to build up antibodies against it

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana County General Health District has been seeing a decline in interest for the COVID-19 vaccine since the beginning of March.

Then, it seemed to drop dramatically at the end of March and has been slow since.

“The one thing that it seems like we might be able to control is misinformation,” said Laura Fauss; of Columbiana County General Health District. “We’ve been trying to educate people on how to find valid sources about the vaccine and educating them on the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.”

As of today, there are over 8,500 cases of COVID-19 in Columbiana County, which is over 8% of the county’s population.

Fauss said as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, 29.8% of the residents in the county have received their first dose and 21.4% have completed their vaccinations.

“There are two ways we can have herd immunity,” said Dr. Munir Shah, of Trumbull Regional Medical Center. “You can get the vaccine and produce antibodies or the body naturally produces antibodies from the natural infection.”

Herd immunity is achieved when 70-80% of people have either had the vaccine or had the virus.

“When majority of the people have the antibodies, the virus can’t get into your body and multiply fast enough,” Shah said. “If it [the virus] can’t cause much infection it won’t spread to the person next to you.”

Fauss said they recommend people read the CDC’s, FDA’s and their website for information regarding the vaccine.

“Since we’ve seen that decline, we have transferred some of our vaccine to other providers in the county and out of the county,” Fauss said.

Fauss also said they’ve pulled back on their drive-thru vaccination clinics, but individuals can still get their doses at the county health district’s building. To schedule an appointment with them, call 330-420-5580.

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