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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines doctor reacts to drop in vaccine demand: 'It's not totally shocking but it's disappointing'

Vaccine demand across the country is waning. Dr. Yogesh Shah says the trend is concerning because it could prevent the country from reaching herd immunity sooner.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has dropped statewide, with Iowa recently declining 22,000 doses

That mirrors a trend happening across the country.

"It's not totally shocking but it's disappointing," Dr. Yogesh Shah, chief medical officer at Boradlawns Medical Center, said. 

Shah said it's not too shocking because of a study conducted last year where a good portion of respondents said they would not get the vaccine.

But he added it's disappointing because science has proven the vaccine helps fight against the virus.

"Even if they catch COVID they will not die from covid because they have [been] vaccinated," Shah said. "The second, the serious conditions, serious COVID will not occur with the COVID-19 vaccine. And third, for most of us the chance of [having] mild symptoms, COVID will not hurt."

With the demand dropping, Shah thinks it's also concerning because it puts the country in jeopardy for not reaching herd immunity, a notion many health care specialists mentioned would be needed to make the spread of COVID from person-to-person unlikely.

RELATED: 80 Iowa counties now declining some or all vaccines for this week

RELATED: 5 million Americans have missed 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose, CDC data shows

"The herd immunity as it might [be] difficult to reach that number we have been talking about, if this continues," Shah said.

If fewer vaccinations continue, it could mean a potential for higher rates of infections to come back.

Shah added the reason some people might be deciding not to get vaccinated is they still have mistrust with vaccines, but stressed to move past this mistrust doctors have to do more to reach out to patients who are still unsure of the vaccine. 

"[We] need to meet where the patients are coming to us, rather than contradicting and we have to support them with what their questions are," Shad said.

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