The state is putting together a plan to incentivize Missourians to get their coronavirus vaccination. During an event Tuesday in Jefferson City, Gov. Mike Parson says he hopes to announce the effort soon.
“We’re seriously looking at that and I think we are pretty close to making an announcement on that here in the next few days,” says Parson. “You’ve got to keep in mind what are we going to do for the people that’s already had the vaccine to make it fair to everybody in the state. And we really don’t want to be in the business of paying somebody to take care of them for their health care. I sure don’t want to divide the people who have taken the vaccine versus the ones that haven’t.”
What kind of incentives will be involved is unknown at this point. The governor says he wants the plan to help make progress on ending the pandemic.
“If it works, great. Some states say they have had success (on incentives), some say they haven’t. But again, if it moves the needle, then I’m all for it. We’ll see how it all turns out but I want to be able to judge it once we implement it,” he says.
Missouri’s COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in recent weeks. Some health leaders have pointed to unvaccinated people and the Delta variant causing the climb in the state’s infection rate, especially in southwest Missouri and northwest parts of the state.
The variant largely targets unvaccinated individuals and can cause serious illness, including hospitalization and even death.
On Tuesday, the state reported nearly 2,300 new coronavirus cases and about 1,200 patients in a Missouri hospital being treated for the virus.
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