YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As part of Youngstown’s efforts to reach local neighborhoods, the Youngstown Health Department set up a tent off of Belmont Avenue Friday to offer COVID-19 shots, hoping to boost the area’s vaccination rate.
“Doing what we’re doing here today, going into the neighborhoods, people can see us, stop by,” Mayor Tito Brown said. “Let’s get vaccinated. It’s not hard.”
So far, workers had not seen any takers.
“Really, we’re at a new stage of the pandemic,” Governor Mike DeWine said.
DeWine held a news conference Friday morning for the first time in weeks, saying while case numbers are rising again, vaccination rates are lagging behind.
“By the numbers today, 60% of all adults 18 years of age and older are now vaccinated,” he said.
On Friday, the governor announced he and his staff will focus on getting shots into the arms of the remaining 40%.
“For anyone who is on the fence trying to decide whether to go ahead and get the COVID-19 vaccine, please remember — this is not the common cold,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said during DeWine’s press conference.
Part of that effort will involve local communities offering giveaways to those who get vaccinated.
To that end, those hosting this COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Youngstown’s north side are offering Medicaid recipients $100 gift cards and concert tickets in order to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
Although the recent Vax-a-Million drawings encouraged more than 500,000 Ohioans to get the shot, DeWine promised the state will provide help for local providers offering incentives.