RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — Earlier this week we told you how the pause of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine could create fear about getting any of the vaccines, now those fears are becoming a reality.
Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez says less demand could lead to fewer vaccines for the Rio Grande Valley.
“I’m going to wait until it’s for certain, that all the vaccines are working well,” said Anna Short, an RGV resident.
Today at the DHR Vaccine Clinic there were more empty seats than usual.
“Having that vaccine be on pause has certainly instilled some fear in people and some hesitancy in getting a vaccine,” said Dr. Marissa Gomez-Martinez, Medical Director, Edinburg CISD Health Clinic.
Several clinics throughout the RGV are reporting having a surplus of extra vaccines. DHR Health officials are even opening up vaccines to walk-ins.
They say the extra vaccines can be attributed to the fears in the community, because of the pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“Absolutely it’s something that would put a halt on me attempting to be vaccinated at the moment. I have family that has done it, but as far as myself and my husband we have concerns,” said one RGV Resident.
Dr. Melendez says there are other factors to consider besides fear. For the past two weeks, demand has obviously gone down, as more people get a vaccine.
Melendez says one of the factors contributing to less demand is concerns about side effects from the vaccines.
“The response is how many people do you know or have you heard of who have had any significant long-term effect of the vaccination, the answer is none, zero,” said Dr. Melendez.
Even though only 6 people out of nearly seven million Johnson & Johnson doses given out have had an issue, some residents are still hesitant.
“See we waited and I guess we’ll wait some more, that how I see it. Hopefully, they can work everything out, and then we’ll go and get it,” said an RGV Resident.
Health officials say with less demand if you have not gotten a vaccine you have more of an opportunity now to get one, but they say take the opportunity because it might not last long.