Monroe and surrounding counties have oversupply of COVID-19 vaccines

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: April 15, 2021 11:18 PM
Created: April 15, 2021 08:51 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe and many of its neighboring counties are dealing with a unique problem. Currently, there's an overabundant supply of COVID-19 vaccines available, but not enough people signing up to get vaccinated. Believe it or not, both county leaders and doctors are begging people to sign up for a vaccine and fill up many empty slots.

Just weeks ago people all across the region had a tough time getting a COVID-19 vaccine. In an effort to get more people immunized vaccination sites started opening as quickly as they could, and vaccine supply increased rapidly. Now Monroe County Executive Adam Bello says besides online, registering for a vaccine is just a phone call away.

"This week we are excited to announce that, that service has been expanded to all Monroe County for appointments at the County-operated Rochester Convention Center making it easy for those without internet access to make their live-saving vaccine appointment," Bello said.

Rochester Regional Health Chief of Infectious Disease Division Dr. Maryrose Laguio-Vila says there are still many challenges when it comes to getting people to register.

"Many people who are eligible for the vaccines, if they still have to work we have to make sure they have access after-hours," Laguio-Vila said. 

According to the Monroe County COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard Thursday, 226,825 residents have already received their second dose. More than 322,470, or about 43.4% of the county's population so far received their first dose.

"It's wonderful that the demand for vaccines, like the uptick in vaccines, has been there, but there's just been a growing phase in learning how we can deploy them safely to everybody," Laguio-Vila said.

On Thursday officials from Pfizer announced that a third dose of the vaccine may be needed within six to 12 months. Laguio-Vila says the news is not terribly surprising.

"I'd say that you know we still are learning about the longevity of antibodies that are generated after the vaccine too," Laguio-Vila said. "You know we're barely one year after the first vaccines went into any human, so to know if it lasts more than a year we haven't had enough time to know yet."

One year ago Thursday was considered the deadliest day since the pandemic started. In a span of 24 hours, 2,752 people died nationwide from the coronavirus. The daily number of deaths has since dropped to under 1,000.

Copyright 2021 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company