Page County Board of Health is considering vaccination incentive program | news

(Clarinda) – The Page County Health Department is in the early stages of researching an additional incentive to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

During the regular board meeting on Monday evening, the board discussed offering a lottery or raffle of cash prizes to vaccinated residents. The latest figures from the Iowa Department of Public Health show that approximately 41% of the county’s population is getting at least their first dose of vaccine. The idea came from Public Health Administrator Jessica Erdman, who put her report in writing to the board. In it, Sunderman, County Sanitarian, says Erdman’s idea would be similar to other incentive programs on offer across the country.

“We could offer $ 500 or $ 1,000 and give people a timeframe to get their two recordings from Pfizer or Moderna or one from Johnson & Johnson,” said Sunderman. “Perhaps that would encourage some people to go out there and increase the number of people vaccinated. Of course, you could make a recommendation and then it would ultimately be up to regulators to approve it.”

Chuck Nordyke, chairman and CEO of Clarinda Regional Health Center, says they offer a similar program for CRHC employees.

“The numbers are not what I would like to see, but they are pretty good,” said Nordyke. “We’ll do that. We’ll offer it sometime in mid-July. If you’ve had your vaccinations – both of you – then you’ll be entered into a lottery and we’ll give a prize to an employee.”

Erdman’s proposal included the federal government using some of the county’s COVID-19 aid money to fund the project. Each incentive program must be approved by the Page County Board of Supervisors. Board member Dr. Heather Babe says she supports every program to increase vaccinations in the county.

“I think, as the board of directors, we need to encourage regulators and the county itself to do everything possible to promote vaccinations,” said Babe. “If that’s what we want, I think it’s a good idea and I think people jump on board with things like that. As long as there is no way we can be held liable. If we encourage people to get vaccinated and you had a reaction or something, I wouldn’t believe that. I don’t think that’s a bad idea. “

Board member Jona Hutson believes the county health department should continue to educate the public and provide new information regarding the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“More public education and even a conversation or something else to get rid of some of the myths that may also attract some people,” Hutson said. “I just haven’t seen much real education about it lately.”

The Management Board has not taken any action in relation to the proposed incentive program. Further discussions are expected in the coming weeks.

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