Will Vigo County implement vaccination incentives? Local officials and residents react to national push

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — With almost half of Vigo County fully vaccinated, according to the Vigo County Health Department, more steps are being taken to increase those numbers . This comes as a national race to vaccinate more Americans continues.

President Joe Biden says shots will come with added incentives, including a free beer from Anheuser Busch on July 4 and a vaccine push by some professional sports leagues.

Biden’s goal is to get at least 70% of citizens at least one dose of vaccine by July.

However, local resident Lacrisha Clinton says she doesn’t think bonuses will result in more COVID-19 shots.

“I kinda feel like by incentivizing it you’re punishing those who aren’t comfortable getting vaccinated. I mean not everybody who decides not to get vaccinated doesn’t just want to do it,” Clinton added. “They’ve made a conscious decision not to do so,”

Roni Elder, Health Educator for the Vigo County Health Department says it’s a priority to have over 70% of the county vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

“I think the incentives are helpful for people on the fence or maybe they were already going to get the vaccine anyways. So, it’s just an added bonus getting that incentive. We’re definitely not against it,” Elder said.

Clinton who is vaccinated said she didn’t get her shot for a reward.

“I did it because I want to get back to normal and I care about those around me,” She stated.

Elder added reaching herd immunity can happen one of two ways, being vaccinated or contracting Coronavirus.

More local vaccine promotion could take a place through a new grant received by V.C.H.D. Incentives would be an allowed expense.

Elder states incentivizing doesn’t always mean added bonuses.

“Anytime we’re trying to promote people getting vaccinated really the whole core of it is educating people. People aren’t going to get vaccinated with something they don’t know anything about,” She said.

As of right now, no vaccination incentives have been confirmed by the Vigo County Health Department.

With some major sports leagues participating in a vaccine push, Terre Haute Rex baseball General Manger, Bruce Roselli, says his team will not.

‘We’re not trying to be political about it. I think it’s a matter of choosing where you want to go,” Roselli said. “People have the option to come here or not if they choose to. We offer plenty of space to social distancing and we encourage people wearing a mask,” Roselli said.

Currently the Vigo County Health Department is seeing about 15-20 vaccination appointments a day.

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