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Tippecanoe Co. COVID-19 vaccination clinic seeing a decline in people wanting appointments

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TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The Tippecanoe County Health Department's COVID-19 vaccination clinic is seeing fewer and fewer people, despite only about 54% of eligible people in the county being fully vaccinated.

"It is a lot slower than it was a few months ago," said Tippecanoe County Health Department Administrator Khala Hochstedler.

Things have slowed to a crawl at Tippecanoe County's COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

"We have only 44 scheduled for today," she explained. "Where, in the past, we were doing hundreds in a day."

However, Hochstedler said it's more important than ever to get vaccinated.

"It is killing people and it is stronger than the flu, and we're still having deaths here," Hochstedler said. "We've had a few recent deaths and that was in unvaccinated people."

Hochstedler said there is a lot of misinformation leading to vaccine hesitancy.

"If you had COVID in the past, we know that your antibodies wane and you do not have protection," explained Hochstedler. "Also, with the different strains, it's mutating and so you clearly don't have protection."

That's a lesson Justin Howe learned the hard way, so he decided to get vaccinated after two battles with COVID-19.

"Don't take that chance again. Having it twice, I thought it'd be the best thing to do," said Howe. "Maybe I didn't have a third time to get the chance and I didn't want to spread something I had got."

However, he's not just doing it for himself.

"I had my hesitations about it and as the more I thought, I thought it was just time to get it taken care of as a dad and as a husband and as a worker," said Howe. 

As for those still skeptical, Hochstedler has some advice.

"I don't know how you can argue against science on that, but I would strongly encourage them to do their own research on that on a trusted site, not Facebook," Hochstedler said.

However, she said vaccination is the only way to not move backward.

"If you don't want further restrictions back in place, then we're going to need everyone's help preventing an outbreak this fall, and so that's going to be you doing your part by getting vaccinated," Hochstedler said.

The clinic is now taking walk-ins.

The health department is also increasing its mobile vaccination sites and will be at the Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair next week.

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