WAUKESHA, Wis. — Even as new variants of COVID-19 continue to develop, including the recently discovered omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, some pharmacists said they have seen a decline in demand for COVID-19 vaccines. 

Scott Hoff is a pharmacist at Moreland Plaza Pharmacy in Waukesha, Wis. Hoff said that when coronavirus vaccines first rolled out, demand was sky high.

Scott Hoff is a pharmacist at Moreland Plaza Pharmacy in Waukesha, Wis. (Spectrum News 1/Ryan Burk)

However, in recent months, he said the number of people looking to get a COVID-19 booster has dwindled.

In addition, Hoff noted he’s hardly had anyone come in recently looking to get their first COVID-19 shot.  

“We really haven’t seen many initial dose people in a long time. I think I did one person all fall — that was the first time [in a long time] through,” said Hoff. “Otherwise, everyone either had the vaccine originally and is done with it or they have just opted that they are not going to get it.”  

Whenever new COVID-19 variants hit the news cycle, Hoff said he does get more inquiries from customers about the need for updated COVID-19 boosters. However, Hoff said those inquiries do not always translate to more people getting vaccinated. 

While Hoff said he is a proponent of allowing people to make their own choices about the vaccine, he hopes they are able to make informed decisions. 

“Looking on Google and Facebook is not always the greatest source of medical information,” said Hoff.

While vaccination rates have been down at Moreland Plaza Pharmacy, Hoff said staff have been staying busy over the past week dispensing prescription and over-the-counter medication for seasonal illnesses, especially after the busy holiday travel season.