BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — There is now far more vaccine supply than demand in Western New York, and efforts to get even half of the Erie County population vaccinated have slowed down considerably.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown just got his first vaccine Friday afternoon, saying he wanted to make sure there was enough availability for those who may have needed it more. “I wanted to get vaccinated at this time to show it’s painless, it’s easy, it’s quick, and for us to get back to normal as a community, as a society, we need to get as many people vaccinated as possible.”

In the past three weeks, the number of Erie County residents receiving their first vaccine has dropped in half from what it was three weeks before, and half of Erie County is still not vaccinated.

“Those individuals that haven’t been vaccinated yet, it’s gonna take a little bit more time to help them understand why it’s important to get vaccinated, answer questions, making sure they get to a good source to have their questions answered,” according to Dr. Gale Burstein, commissioner of the Erie County Department of Health.

Dr. Raul Vazquez, of Urban Family Practice in Buffalo has heard various concerns. “Just the misunderstandings, the things you hear, ‘Well, I’m gonna become infertile from this.” and I tell them, you know you may….if you get Covid.”

On Saturday afternoon, Resurgence Brewery, on Chicago Street in Buffalo, is giving away a free drink to anyone who gets a Covid vaccine. It’s been widely publicized for over a week and yet less than half of the 300 appointments have been booked, so now it’ available even without an appointment.

“Anybody who wants a vaccine at Resurgence should just come on down and you not only get a free vaccine, you also get a pint, so again, you get a shot and chaser, so we want to make sure you get that chaser when you get that shot,” said Dr. Burstein. “I’ll be there too, I’ll be vaccinated. I can’t wait.”

George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.