Grant County leaders encourage vaccination to keep businesses open

 

Last updated 5/12/2021 at 7:45am



During a Grant County Leadership ZOOM meeting May 5, people from various organizations discussed how to market COVID-19 vaccines more effectively.

Misty Aguilar, public information officer for the Grant County Health District, said that Grant County’s numbers continue to increase.

“We get several cases every day,” she said. “The majority of the cases are coming from ages 19-40.”

She said that if Gov. Jay Inslee hadn’t paused the phases of the state’s Covid recovery plan, Grant County would have been rolled back to a more restrictive phase due to the prevalence of the coronavirus in the county as measured over the prior 14 days. That number was over the 200 cases per 100,000 residents threshold when Inslee announced the pause.

Now that vaccines are widely available, encouraging people to get them is seen as key to stopping the virus and returning to a more normal life.

The county’s 29% of residents who have had at least one vaccination shot is low compared to that percentage statewide, which is around 44%.

“Is it a religious preference, political, or educational?” Aguilar asked about why people are reluctant to take the vaccine. “People say it’s experimental. … if you look at life, it’s all experimental; we don’t know the long term effects of coffee.”


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State Senator Judy Warnick from the state’s 13th District was also at the meeting. She said she was glad that she’d gotten the vaccine and not Covid itself, and mentioned that people are afraid to get the vaccine.

Debbie Doran-Martinez of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce said that “it needs to be their idea, not the government telling them to get vaccinated.”

The group discussed how to change the messaging around the vaccine to focus on emphasizing keeping businesses open by getting the vaccine.

Aguilar spoke about advertising that GCHD does, which puts a familiar face from the community on ads that emphasize wearing masks or getting vaccinated.

She said the campaigns are good, free advertising for business owners who would be willing to have their face in the ad and would be effective in the community members’ understanding that keeping businesses open is helped by getting the vaccine.

The group also discussed encouraging people to do things that are outdoors, where Covid transmission is low.

 

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