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Doctors expect near overwhelming demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months

Posted at 8:27 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 11:15:35-05

Doctors expect near overwhelming demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months.

It's possible you might need one to go out to eat, see a movie or go to a concert.

Already, one Tri-State restaurant chain is thinking about requiring employees to get vaccinated.

The owner of Taste of Belgium told us many of his independent restaurant peers are just weeks away from having more debt than money.

"In our industry, the key is to keep enforcing the rules," Jean-Francois Flechet told WCPO. "Vaccinations for diners, that's quite a stretch, so I'm not exactly sure how that would work. For workers, that is something we are actually looking into right now for HR policy. Is this something we can enforce or not?"

Former Cincinnati Health Commissioner Dr. O'dell Owens sees a link between the vaccine and the region's entertainment district heating up.

"There's going to be a rush for this vaccine," he said. "If you want to go to the football game, you want to go to the theater, you want to go to a restaurant, within a few months, they may say, show me that you have been vaccinated, and you can come in."

Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, with UC Health, has helped lead COVID-19 vaccine trials. He sees required vaccinations as "over the top."

"I do think people will do the right thing, and I think that the voices of the naysayers are in the vast minority," he said.

For now, public health departments' focus is on first-responder vaccinations and convincing everyone else to minimize their risks with masks and social distancing.