To hit the goal of herd immunity against Covid, vaccination rates must increase in Iowa and Dr. Megan Srinivas, an infectious disease specialist based in Fort Dodge, says creativity may be the key.
“We’ve seen that incentive systems do work,” Srinivas says. “We saw in New Orleans that just having people who were willing to vaccinate during the time when people were going out at night and saying: ‘Hey, this bar is partnering with us. We’ll give you a free drink if you get your Johnson & Johnson one shot vaccine,’ was extremely effective.”
A chance to win a $1 million lottery prize has significantly boosted the Covid vaccination rate in Ohio. Dr. Leyla Best, an infectious disease specialist with UnityPoint, says one-on-one discussions with patients are key to addressing myths about the vaccines.
“I always like to take the opportunity when I see patients in my clinics…to talk about, ‘Have you been vaccinated?'” Best says. “And without pushing — I’m not pushing or making people get the vaccine — I want to understand what their fears are.”
Best says this has been a difficult year for everyone and it’s important for physicians to be available for their patients to answer questions. About 43% of Iowans are fully vaccinated. Both Best and Srinivas specialize in health care outreach to rural areas. The two doctors made their comments during a recent appearance on Iowa PBS’s “Iowa Press” program.