Statement from Legislator Rachel Barnhart:
I am grateful that Monroe County is restarting $100 incentives for vaccination. At the Connected Communities fall festival in Beechwood in September, we vaccinated 74 people, many times the number of people expected. This event was successful because of the $100 incentive, marketing and having the vaccine available right in the neighborhood at a fun event.
The Beechwood neighborhood had a vaccination rate of only 40 percent as of October 8, per Roc Health Data. That compares to more than 65 percent for the county as a whole. Incentives are key to getting people to the table to discuss the importance of vaccination and thank them for getting the shot. I encourage the county to also invest in marketing and block party-type events.
I’ve heard objections to “paying people to do the right thing.” But underserved communities have been failed in many ways by our government, which has largely not protected them from Covid. Offering an underserved population money won’t fix the damage that has been done, but it will improve and save lives.