As COVID-19 vaccine demand slips, officials look for new ways to reach more people

Mobile clinics have been used throughout the COVID-19 vaccination effort to reach hard-hit or vulnerable communities, particularly those in pharmacy deserts. But as the pace of U.S. vaccinations declines, officials say they are ramping up those efforts to get more shots into arms.

Georgia is winding down its mass vaccination sites as demand dwindles, though only 24.4% of the state is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — one of the lowest rates in the country. Most of the sites will close by May 21, while Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will continue through mid-June.

Dr. Lynn Paxton, the health director for Fulton County, where Atlanta sits, always knew the day would come when the county would have to shift its efforts from mass vaccination sites to mobile clinics.

“We knew that our numbers were eventually going to drop,” she told ABC News. “You’re not going to be vaccinating 10,000 people every day into infinity.”

Even as Fulton County implements mobile clinics, they’re just one way it aims to reach more people.

Paxton also wants to work more with individual health providers like doctor’s offices, which may not be able to move the large number of doses that come in vaccine packages, to help facilitate the needed supply.

“We want to do more of that as we move away from our big-standing vaccine sites,” she said. “Basically, we’re going to be going smaller. Smaller, but hopefully wider, to get more people.”

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