LIMA — Allen County’s mass vaccination clinic at the former Knights of Columbus Hall is scaling back its hours of operation this week to Friday and Saturday.
The reduction comes as Ohio Department of Health data shows that only around 28% of Allen County residents are fully or partially vaccinated, compared to 35% of Ohioans overall.
Tami Gough, public information officer for Allen County Public Health, attributed the trend to a combination of more providers, including commercial pharmacies, offering vaccines to the public and a hesitancy among residents who have not yet been vaccinated.
“We had a few weeks at the beginning where demand outweighed supply,” Gough said. “But we’ve been fortunate in northwest Ohio that our allotments have been able to keep pace with demand. And as we continue to keep that good supply, and as more people are vaccinated, the demand wanes.”
The Allen County mass vaccination clinics will continue through May, although hours of operation may vary based on demand.
Efforts are now focused on making the process as convenient as possible so more people opt to take the vaccine.
The health department’s clinic is one of 14 mass vaccination sites established in Ohio to vaccinate as many Ohioans as quickly as possible after all adults and teenagers 16 years and older became eligible.
Allen County Public Health has administered at least 2,600 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine through its mass vaccination clinic since March 31, still fewer than the 4,000 doses the health department has received in that time.
The health department has canceled two clinics planned for Wednesday and Thursday, combining its Johnson & Johnson mass vaccination clinics with a previously planned second-dose Moderna clinic that will be held Friday and Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 810 S. Cable Road.
Earlier this month, Gov. Mike DeWine also announced another initiative to host pop-up vaccination clinics on university campuses and in workplaces, which DeWine hopes will increase uptake among workers and college students before they head home for the summer.