BUFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Ryan Stang admits, after a bout with COVID on Super Bowl Sunday, he was vaccine hesitant.
“In my opinion, what would be the purpose of getting the vaccine if I already had the antibodies,” he said.
But with the Delta variant now spreading quickly, and with three small children at home, Stang says he made the decision Thursday to get his first shot.
“I was riding that antibody train for a long time,” he said.
And COVID hit his family hard. His cousin’s wife in Georgia, a nurse at a local hospital he says died from the virus.
“One of her kids brought the virus home to her and her husband. She passed, and my cousin ended up getting very sick,” Stang said. “He was in the hospital for a couple of months.”
Dr. Raul Vazquez of Urban Family Practice has been working hard to vaccinate WNY.
“Access is one thing, but I think people are finding it’s touching more people they know,” he said.
Vaccine pop-ups are happening across Erie County, as more people now choose to get the shot. But Vazquez says there are people in low vaccination zip codes like 14215 who will not go to a clinic on their own. That’s why he sent this letter to the State Health Department, asking for $2.6 million in American Rescue Money to deploy a robust mobile vaccination department that will specifically go into neighborhoods and target the unvaccinated.
“I think we have to try a different approach,” he said. “We have to have mobile units but by giving us scale and staff, it will give us the ability to go in there.”
As for Stang, he says with the Delta variant gaining traction, it’s only a matter of time before he says more restrictions are posed on the unvaccinated.
“I do see restrictions coming down in the near future,” he said.