NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A drop in demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has some experts warning that we may never reach herd immunity, so why are so many people opting against the shot?
A FEMA-run site in Newark can vaccinate thousands of people per day, but outside, few takers come and go.READ MORE: New Jersey Easing COVID Restrictions At Nursing Homes
It’s not just in Newark.
Nationwide, demand for the vaccine has dwindled. Vaccines are down 50% since peaking on April 13, the day the federal government announced a pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Tuesday, President Joe Biden said he wants 70% of the country vaccinated by July 4.
“In two months, let’s celebrate our independence as a nation and our independence from this virus,” he said.
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Natalia, a New Jersey resident, told CBS2’s Nick Caloway she has some reservations and she worries there’s not enough information out there about the shot’s long-term side effects.
“You know, I’m a woman in my 30s and you want to start a family, so you have some concerns. Like, are there any, there’s rumors there might be some fertility issues. How does it affect you in that way?” she said.
“I’m not afraid of getting the virus,” Morristown resident Bill Hoelzel said.READ MORE: Yankees Confirm 7 Positive COVID Cases Among Coaches, Support Staff
He got COVID in December and had no symptoms, so he’s in no rush to get immunized.
“I’ve heard a lot about a lot of my friends who get the shots and then all of a sudden have to deal with a couple days of fever. I don’t really want to deal with that,” Hoelzel said.
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In New York City, nearly half of FDNY staff is either fully vaccinated or almost there, but startling numbers reveal only about 35% of NYPD officers and support staff are fully vaccinated.
It’s reflective of what many agencies across the country are seeing.
A recent report by the Washington Post found only 5 out of the 40 departments questioned had a vaccination rate higher than 50%.
That hesitancy has health experts warning that herd immunity is unlikely any time soon.
“I think it’s really hard to say that you can get there by any date certain,” said Dr. Dan Varga, with Hackensack Meridian Health. “I think it raises an appropriate concern and is an appropriate kind of call to remain vigilant.”
The FDA is expected to authorize vaccinating 12-to-15-year-olds soon. That can’t come soon enough, as children make up nearly a quarter of all new cases.MORE NEWS: COVID Vaccine: Evidence Presented At CDC Meeting Shows Benefits Of Pfizer Shots To Children 12-15 Outweigh Negatives
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.