Oklahoma health leaders hoping incentives push residents to get vaccinated

Coronavirus

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is hoping businesses will help in the push to get Oklahomans vaccinated.  

Health officials say Oklahoma County has seen a 98% decline in vaccination rates since the vaccines became available.  

“It’s a huge decline. Obviously, that’s a huge concern for us,” said Molly Fleming, with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.  

On Feb. 26, 10,000 people were vaccinated in one day, compared to only 200 people vaccinated on June 3.  

“When we opened it to seniors 65 and older, the sign up filled up in seconds almost. And now we feel like we’re just out there saying, ‘anybody can get vaccinated,’ and they’re just walking by us because they’re just not interested,” said Fleming.  

Fleming says across the country, other states have had some success in offering freebies and incentives for those who show their vaccination cards.  

“Ohio made the national news for the lottery push, which was really cool. We’ve seen some states do alcohol. One of the East Coast states did a shot for a shot, so you got a shot of liquor,” she said.  

Fleming says the health department is encouraging local businesses to do the same.  

“We’re really encouraging businesses to get creative, so we really left it up to them to say hey, do what you can to really help us with this effort. We’re hoping that if you can get a free soda, some free french fries, just a little bit of a discount at your favorite shop, maybe that’s enough to push us over the finish line,” she said.  

Fleming says so far, 40% of people 12 years and older are vaccinated in Oklahoma County.  

You can sign up for your vaccine appointment at vaxOKC.com or by calling the OCCHD hotline at (405) 425-4489.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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