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TMH holds last first-dose vaccine clinic amid lowered turnout

Posted at 5:09 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 17:09:57-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - — Leon County vaccine rollout is following a national trend, with a dramatic dip in people wanting to get vaccinated. Now, it means less access to the vaccine.

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare held its last first-dose clinic Thursday.

Parking lots at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare's drive-thru have not been anywhere close to the turnout the hospital has seen in weeks past.

"Huge drop-off this week. Last week we had about 1,900 people scheduled. Did about 1,700 people for first doses. Today's a first dose clinic day and we got about 300 so far," said Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Clinical Lead Allison Marsh. "The total people signed up for Thursday is 727."

Marsh said part of the reason for the drop-off in turnout, could be from fear due to the pause in Johnson and Johnson doses. Although, she doesn't believe people have anything to worry about.

"It has seemed to have scared some people out of vaccines even though statistically the number of people who were affected is so minute it has no basis for affecting the vaccine," said Marsh.

The Florida Department of Health reports about 35 percent of people eligible for the vaccine in Leon County have received their shots. By age group, that's about 82 percent of seniors. The smallest age group completely vaccinated is people under 24, adding up to just five percent

20-year-old Cody Zajdel said he knows his chances of getting extremely sick aren't as high as it is with older populations although he still didn't want to risk it.

"Of course I don't want to get the virus," said Zajdel.

Zajdel said he took off work to get his vaccine Thursday to protect his family and not bring it home.

"I know a few friends who haven't had it but their parents caught it," said Zajdel.

Because there are fewer people who want to get vaccinated but more areas available to get the vaccine, TMH will only be providing Pfizer's second-doses.

"Summer's coming. Kind of hot to be out in a parking lot," said Marsh. "Also, you can get the vaccine anywhere. There are so many different places where you can get the vaccine - are we really doing a service being out here?"

Truth Gatherers Dream Center Church will be holding a vaccine clinic from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday. Woodville Community Center will also be giving out Pfizer doses from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.