Vaccination rates slowing down in rural counties despite Vax-A-Million incentives

Miami Valley News

OHIO (WDTN)- The excitement of possibly winning a million dollars or a full-ride scholarship to a state school drove many Ohioans to their nearest vaccine clinic to get their COVID-19 shot. In many counties, a marked increase in vaccination rates was recorded.

“For about 2 weeks, we had a little bit of an increase, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a spike. but we went from about 50 or 60 [people] at each clinic to about 100,” said Emily Hoisington, director of nursing in Darke County.

However, some other areas especially in rural counties did not see any increase.

That was the case in Sidney-Shelby County according to health commissioner Pamela Riggs.

And now that the state is approaching the halfway mark of the Vax-a-Million campaign, demand seems to be slowing down again.

“Darke County has reached 30 percent vaccinated. So I think…the people who are still… on the fence about it are slowly trickling in,” said Hoisington.

In order to continue pushing vaccination efforts forward to get more people protected against COVID, these rural public health departments are focusing on education and access to the vaccine.

“People are still afraid to get out,” said Riggs. “So lets take it to them because it’s important that people feel safe. We are here for the public and we are here to help people stay healthy.”

Darke and Sidney-Shelby County Public Health both offer home-bound vaccination visits. For more information on Darke County, click here. For more information on Sidney-Shelby County, click here.

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