Ohio Gov. DeWine creates economic incentive to get state employees vaccinated

Governor offers $100 for state employees and $25 for the spouses to get vaccinated
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaking earlier this month
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaking earlier this month(Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, The Ohio Channel)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 1:52 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The vaccination rate in the state of Ohio has stalled at just less than 50%, and in order to jumpstart it, Gov. Mike DeWine will offer cold, hard cash to the unvaccinated among the state’s 50,000 government employees.

The governor wrote in a statement:

“State employees and their spouses are encouraged to protect themselves, their families, and their communities by getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccines are the most effective strategy at stopping the spread of COVID-19 and preventing serious illness. I urge all Ohio employers to encourage their employees to get vaccinated, whether that’s through financial incentives, paid leave programs, or other incentives.”

All Ohioans, including state employees, can receive a COVID-19 vaccination free of charge. To locate a vaccination location near you, click here.

Cleveland Clinic infectious disease specialist Dr. Frank Esper blames an anti-vaccine movement for preventing Ohio from getting to a 70% vaccination rate for herd immunity.

“I think we’ve made a lot of mistakes from the beginning of the pandemic,” said Dr. Esper. “I think one of the mistakes we’ve made is not anticipating the pushback that we were going to get with the vaccine.”

The high vaccine rates become more important as the highly-contagious Delta variant of COVID becomes more prevalent.

“There were people who were against this vaccine before there was a vaccine,” said Dr. Esper, of what he calls “vaccine agitators.”

The doctor added that he still believes it’s possible to do better.

“We actually have 90% vaccination rate in our community for a whole bunch of different virus like pertussis, like measles, like tetanus.”

The governor has not said from where the money for the incentives will come.

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