Public health: Mask mandates remain until more people are vaccinated, vaccine supply higher than demand

DAYTON — Public health agencies, including Dayton & Montgomery County, are saying that COVID vaccine supply is now higher than the demand.

Additionally, businesses in the Miami Valley are sharing concerns around vaccines and masks, and an uneasy relationship moving forward.

People running small businesses want to drop all barriers to having customers in the store. Customers want to shop and live with as few barriers as possible.

Some people are expressing resistance to being vaccinated if they still have to wear masks everywhere anyway.

The question of how to balance health safety with safely opening is the concern for doctors going forward.

“I think states have relaxed the regulations, it’s premature, it’s not related to the vaccinated population, it’s related to the unvaccinated population,” said Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein, Kettering Health Network Patient Safety Officer.

Weinstein said people are still being hospitalized and still dying from COVID.

“We see almost no one being admitted from nursing homes anymore because the nursing homes vaccinated everyone,” he said.

Doctors want the rest of the population to follow suit, but public health agencies have seen lots of open appointments recently as supply outpaces demand for the vaccine.

Ohio, and Montgomery County, are struggling to reach 40 percent of the population vaccinated.

Health agencies say about 70-80 percent needs to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

“Ultimately those mask mandates will go away, I think we need more people vaccinated before they go away,” Weinstein said.

“The bottom line is the vaccination works incredibly well and that’s the fastest way to get rid of the masks.”

We will continue to keep you updated about the latest mask policies from the FDA and CDC, as well as the latest vaccination numbers.