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As vaccine supply exceeds demand, large vax sites could close in favor of smaller locations

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Posted at 10:52 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 07:36:12-04

CINCINNATI — With demand for the COVID-19 vaccine slowing, mass vaccination sites won’t be open forever, but how much longer will they be an option?

Local health officials said there’s not a hard deadline on mass vaccination sites like the Duke Energy Convention Center, but as we near summer, they said to expect to see less of this strategy and a more targeted, neighborhood-level approach.

“I think that some of those larger sites will finish out their schedules where they are and then I imagine you will see much more neighborhood sites, partnerships with churches and community organizations,” said special advisor of vaccine coordination to the Health Collaborative Kate Schroder.

Smaller vaccine sites may mean seeing vaccines offered at some non-traditional places.

“So if people are out at the DORA, why not bring a mobile unit down there to talk to people?” Schroder said.

Or a festival or a park -- it’s all on the table. Cincinnati Health Department medical director Dr. Grant Mussman agrees it’s now an all-hands-on-deck approach.

“We’re continuing to evolve as the need changes,” he said.

Mussman said the larger vaccination sites won’t disappear tomorrow, but with the case numbers still high, the vaccine effort will look different.

“Optimistically, we were hoping that we could get a little higher with some of our big events, but I think we always knew that this wasn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all approach, and we were going to have to find new strategies and new ways of doing things,” he said.

With the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine currently exceeding demand, people outside the city of Cincinnati seeking vaccination won’t be turned away.

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Senior Reporter Larry Seward is focusing his reporting on the COVID-19 vaccine to bring you answers and information. Contact Larry at 513-667-4804 or larry.seward@wcpo.com.