“It wasn’t fair to ask our volunteers to keep showing up there when they weren’t being fully utilized — they like to keep busy,” Jason Menchhofer, the county health administrator, said in an interview on Thursday about the site on the local fairgrounds.
In the first few months of the year, the site in the county, which has 41,000 residents and borders Indiana, would fill up its 400 appointments in an hour or two, Mr. Menchhofer said. “We could even reach down into those who were not age-eligible to get it to come in at the end of the day, to come out quickly and get it into someone’s arm,” he said.
But demand has fallen precipitously in the last several weeks, and last week the county ended up wasting two doses, which was a first. “We no longer have a reserve of people who want to be vaccinated to reach into to show up and take those doses,” Mr. Menchhofer added.
The largest vaccination site in Las Vegas, the Cashman Center, will close on May 5 as the list of open appointments grows and the lines to be inoculated dwindle. The tens of thousands of open appointments at sites across the nation are forcing officials to change their outreach strategies and zero in on smaller events.
Officials in Palm Beach County, Fla., said on Tuesday that the county would shut its three mass vaccination sites, which are operating at about half capacity, by the end of May. Of 16,000 appointment slots available this week, only 6,000 were filled, according to health officials. Instead, three mobile units will each aim to give 500 doses a day.
In Galveston County, Texas, a mass drive-through clinic at a county park won’t operate after May 1. The park has been administering 5,000 doses per day, including on Thursday. But demand for appointments has dampened in the last three weeks, according to the county’s chief public health officer, Dr. Philip Keiser. He also asked the state to pause vaccine shipments.
“We’re concerned that some of it may expire before we use it, if we keep getting it,” Dr. Keiser said. “We are trying to figure out how to balance out supply and demand, yet also have enough on hand so that when school kids are able to get back, we can do them.”