DENVER (KDVR) — Cases and hospitalizations have been trending upward, but there looks to be more to the story than falling demand for vaccines.
State and federal government and health officials have continued to press citizens to be vaccinated in the face of rising cases and hospitalizations.
Gov. Jared Polis announced two weeks ago that walk-in and first day vaccine appointments are available at vaccination sites. Clinics have now expanded eligibility to 12- to 15-year-olds, and today the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention incentivized vaccines with a new order.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday will ease indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places, according to a person briefed on the announcement,” a release read.
“The new guidance will still call for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but could ease restrictions for reopening workplaces and schools.”
The urge to keep vaccination numbers moving upward responds in part to a very real dropoff in demand.
Colorado now has 2.23 million fully vaccinated citizens, or about 40% of the state’s population.
After vaccines first became available in December, the number of daily vaccinations steadily climbed. The 7-day average for daily vaccinations peaked April 13 at 63,000.
Since then numbers have gone down every week. As of May 11, the 7-day average for daily vaccinations is less than half of what is was on April 13, about 31,000 per day.
Cases and the associated hospitalizations, however, started rising well before vaccine demand started falling.
Seven-day daily case average bottomed out from March 5 to March 15 – a period of time when the number of daily vaccinations was climbing and would continue to climb for another month.
Furthermore, daily cases seem to have been falling since late April.
On April 23, there were around 1,600 new daily cases. As of May 10, there were 470.
New COVID admissions to the hospital bottomed out around the same time, roughly six weeks before the greatest number of Coloradans were vaccinated.
There was a 7-day average of 46 new daily hospital admissions on March 4, from which point it has risen steadily and more sharply since March 23.