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Missouri DHSS reports higher vaccination rates days after incentives were announced

DHSS concludes higher rates are due to incentives
Vaccine clinic kc
Posted at 6:01 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 19:02:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) says July 22 and 23 were the highest COVID vaccination days since May.

That happened after the new vaccination incentive program was announced on July 21.

"So to us, that's a pretty strong indicator it has revived some interest in vaccination around the state," Robert Knodell, acting director of the DHSS said. "We know others are seeing the hospitalizations and challenges communities are facing with the delta variants."

RELATED: Missouri vaccination rate spikes in July amid delta variant

KSHB 41 News has previously reported vaccine incentives are not a major factor in whether a person decides to get vaccinated or not.

As of Thursday afternoon, Knodell said 295,000 people signed up for the incentive program, MO VIP, entering into one of three prize pools. One of the pools are for people who were vaccinated prior to July 21.

The program includes five drawings through October for a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize.

"Obviously we saw an initial surge," Knodell said. "We expect another surge prior to the first drawing and probably after winners begin to be announced."

While DHSS says they can't know the motivation of every person, their data shows from July 6 through July 27, vaccination rates increased 77%. From July 21 through July 27, the vaccination rate increased 14%.

"We saw days in April where we were vaccinating over 50,000 Missourians a day," Knodell said. "That number, even with the recent increase, is somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000 a day."

Knodell said the uptick is happening more in the southwest part Missouri, where a cluster of covid hotspots are located.

Some clinics in the Kansas City area aren't busy, and haven't been since the spring.

One clinic at The View Community Center in Grandview, vaccinated 10 people on Thursday.

Nurses say they're seeing a slight uptick in people coming for the vaccine.

"People (have) discussed this all the time throughout the last several months," Jonathan Hanson, a registered nurse with the Jackson County Health Department said. "Most recently, they're coming because they see loved ones ill in the hospital. And one of our patients has even said that their family member was in a hospital bed stating they wish they'd gotten the vaccine and hadn't."

Hanson said he's heard people talk about state and workplace incentives driving their decision to get vaccinated after so many months.

Nurses have also noticed an uptick in demand at their testing clinics, from people who are feeling sick or have recently traveled.

"Even if you have apprehension about things, if you just talk and ask questions, we can find an answer for you and give you the confidence you need to make a wise decision for yourself and loved ones," Hanson said.

KSHB 41 News put together a list of vaccine clinics and how to sign up for one. Most of them are easy to get into where you can get an appointment within 15 minutes.