FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Vaccination numbers are continuing to steadily decline here in Arkansas even after the addition of the 12 plus age groups on May 10th.
Before the Pfizer vaccine was approved for children ages 12 through 15 earlier this month, local health professionals predicted this along with Pfizer applying for full FDA approval would help bring a little life back to vaccination numbers. Numbers were already trending in a negative direction.
Since emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for this age group, there has not been a bump in weekly vaccination rates. I spoke to State Epidemiologist, Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, she believes there are a number of factors playing into the continued decline. One being 12 through 15 is really not a large enough demographic to make a significant difference. She adds adults being vaccine-hesitant makes it just as difficult to reach children.
“Adults who are parents and who are reluctant for themselves are more likely to be reluctant to vaccinate their children, so there are lots of things going in simultaneously I think,” says Dr. Dillaha.
However, all of this aside, Dr. Dillaha says she’s hopeful the governor’s vaccination commercial campaign unveiled earlier this month will help show Arkansans getting vaccinated is normative and change the minds of those who are vaccine-hesitant.