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Brazos vaccination hub requesting fewer first doses this week due to diminishing demand

Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-18 19:05:17-04

BRYAN, TEXAS — Normally, the Brazos County vaccination hub requests 5,000 first doses from the state each week, but not this time.

Chief Jim Stewart says they only asked for 2,000, which is the lowest number of first-doses they ever requested.

Residents crashed the Brazos County vaccination hub's appointment website on numerous occasions early on, but that's not the problem the hub is having now.

Leaders are seeing a diminishing demand across the board, particularly with the number of people wanting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Early on we were struggling to get an allocation of vaccines sufficient to vaccinate the number of people we had. And then we established a steady state of 5,000 new doses for every week," Chief Jim Stewart, COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force Leader in Brazos County said.

Chief Stewart says over the last couple of weeks, it's been difficult to bring that number (5,000) in to vaccinate. As of Saturday, of the 2,000 doses for this upcoming week, only a couple hundred have been claimed.

"We are only going to administer 1st doses on Tuesday. The hub will not be open for business on Monday. 1st doses Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday will be 2nd doses," Chief Stewart added.

Chief Stewart says it's safe to say that he's contemplating opening the hub up to everyone like he did last Tuesday, but even then, he says they still under-vaccinated.

"It's very frustrating. Particularly when I think back to when we started this and the enthusiasm and the demand for vaccines was so dramatic to just taper off like this. I know there are still people out there that need the vaccine," Chief Stewart said.

Chief Stewart says some may be going elsewhere to get their shot, reluctant to be vaccinated, or simply procrastinating.

"And that is one of the reasons that I went public with our planned closure date for the week of May 10th, just maybe to induce people to come on and get their vaccination out of the way, rather than just keep kicking the can down the road," Chief Stewart said.

Chief Stewart says demand is diminishing, yet supply is increasing, not just at the hub, but across the board.

"I can't ask for stuff that I can't think I can put into people's arms. If I ask for 5,000 again and have 3,000 left over...that's not good. Somebody else could have used it," Chief Stewart said.

Chief Stewart says the trend he is seeing is across the nation, not just here in Brazos County. Chief Stewart also says 79,000 people have come through the hub and been recipients of the vaccine, either in one or both of their arms.

The hub will stop administering first doses the week of May 10th at the hub.

"We will doing be second doses, for whatever day we stop, a month to 6 weeks later, we will still be doing the second doses until we are done," Chief Stewart said.

The next goal for the hub, Chief Stewart says, is to hit the 100,000 mark and he thinks they will get pretty close to it.