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Vaccine supply reaching demand, but there's hesitancy

“Supply has finally caught up to demand"
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Posted at 5:36 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 20:45:27-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Nearly 30-percent of Erie County residents have been full vaccinated. That totals 37,680 people. 41.2-percent of Erie County residents now have a least one dose of the vaccine, 54,909 people.

It finally appears there is now more supply in the region, making it easier for access.

Jeff McChesney of Buffalo had his arm ready for his second dose of the Moderna vaccine.

McChesney says he had no concerns of getting vaccinated against Covid.

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Jeff McChesney getting his second shot.

“It’s much better to get this than take a chance without it. There might be some side effects from the second, but I think they are going to be very mild if they happen — I’ll fee much more secure after having it,” declared McChesney.

McChesney came to the Black Rock Pharmacy on Tonawanda Street in Buffalo where he and other customers showed up Thursday for their second Moderna vaccine.

“So we try to schedule five people ever 15 to 20 minutes,” explained Brad Arthur, pharmacist, managing partner.

Arthur says the pharmacy is finally getting enough vaccine to reach demand.

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Brad Arthur, pharmacist, managing partner, Black Rock Pharmacy.

“Supply has finally caught up to demand. We’ve noticed this week that things seem to be easing,” Arthur remarked.

The pharmacy received about one-thousand doses so far and no longer have people waiting as they did a few weeks ago.

“Now we're up to about 30-percent of vaccinated population, so now you're to those folks that are a little more ambivalent — so it's a little tougher. It's tougher for a couple of reasons — you have folks that are dropping off the schedule — a few no shows the other day — it's getting a little bit trickier,” Arthur responded.

From the city's Black Rock neighborhood to neighborhoods on Buffalo's east side, the effort continues to get people vaccinated.

“It’s a very personal burden and there's a sense of urgency,” Ricardo Herrera, chief executive officer at the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers in Buffalo (BFNC).

His organization is involved offering clients mental, residential and group homes services.

Herrera says not only is he making sure clients are vaccinated, but staffers as well.

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Ricardo Herrera, chief executive officer at the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers in Buffalo (BFNC).

He says about 65 to 70 percent of his staff is now vaccinated, but a third remain hesitant.

“Very few are saying I’m never going to get it. Most are saying want to wait and see — I want this to go on for a little longer until I can see the whole truth come out and see what happens,” Herrera said.

“What specifically are people telling you that they're afraid of the vaccine?”, asked Buckley.

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Ricardo Herrera, chief executive officer at the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers in Buffalo (BFNC) in Zoom interview.

“They're talking about we don't know if it's targeted against minority communities — we don't know if we are disproportionately going to have worse effects — if this is some short of deep trap,”replied Herrera.

Herrera says others tell him the vaccine, which has received emergency-use authorization by the FDA, but has not yet been approved or licensed, was not tested enough.

Clinical trials show the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are 95 percent effective at preventing the virus at least six months after vaccination.

Herrera says in communities of color there is a lot misunderstanding and conspiracy theories about the vaccine.

“Lots of misinformation and lots of fears,” Herrera noted.

To help offer factual information about vaccinations and answer community concerns, the BFNC is hosting a Zoom event Thursday evening with two medical experts:

· Allana Krolikowski,MD, Chief Medical Officer, Jericho Road Community Health Center

· Takesha Leonard, EdD, FNP-BC, East Side Medical Director, Jericho Road Community Health Center

· BFNC CEO and COO

When: Thursday, April 15 ,2021 7:00 pm

Where: A Zoom Event

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/94781711203?pwd=R1RWdEg4UTJOemlvb1EzSGdtaWlrQT09