60% of people eligible for booster in FLX have received it

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Statewide, less than half of New Yorkers eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot have actually gotten it. While the percentage is higher in the Finger Lakes Region, there has been a definite decline in demand over the last several weeks.

The days of fighting for an appointment at a vaccination clinic are over. If you want the shot, you can pretty much walk into any site right now and get it and that’s whether you’re looking for your first dose or a booster.

Across the nine-county Finger Lakes Region, about 75% of everyone eligible has gotten at least their first shot but when it comes to the booster.

“Of those who are eligible for a booster, we have about 60% vaccination rate,” explained Dr. Irena Boyce, the Director of Analytics for the FLX Vaccine Hub.

While the Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub wants to reach that other 40%, the feeling may not be mutual.

“We saw, at our peak weeks about 30[,000]-33,000 individuals receiving their boosters. When you look at it now we’re down to 12[,000]-14,000 individuals a week so, about half of what we’ve seen before,” Dr. Boyce said.

A 60% booster rate is actually high compared to the statewide and national average of approximately 41%. National studies have looked into the reasons why Americans have been slow to get the booster shot. The reasons range from people not having a regular primary care doctor to trust for medical information and counseling, to past mixed-messaging on COVID safety protocols, to a fair number of people who contracted COVID-19 and have natural immunity.

Nonetheless, the FLX Vaccine Hub will continue its efforts.

“It’s really about communicating the efficacy of staying up-to-date on vaccinations,” Dr. Boyce said, “it’s not even about getting to your PCPs (primary care providers) many times the clinics go to the communities and we can get people vaccinated where they live where they go to work where they go to school.”