BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Both the Jefferson County Health Department and Birmingham city leaders are working to increase the number of people getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health department officials say only 32% of people have taken both doses of the vaccine in Jefferson County. To improve those numbers, the city of Birmingham is considering a vaccine lottery. If approved, it could provide incentives including offering scholarships to winners drawn daily.
Birmingham City Council President William Parker said he wants the city to move towards the goal of being 70% vaccinated by July 4. Due to low number of vaccinations, several mass sites are set to close.
“We’re all scratching our heads seeing what’s the next strategy that will be effective. We’ve been all impressed with Ohio when they did the lottery and they said they had a greater than 40% increase in the vaccination. We believe that’s impressive results. If that’s working in one part of the country the question is will it work in this part of the country we don’t know, but I think it’s worth a try,” Dr. David Hicks of the Jefferson County Health Department said.
Jefferson County Health leaders are now ramping up efforts giving COVID-19 vaccine shots in homes, businesses, and entertainment venues. The Watermark Place in Bessemer one of the large vaccination sites in Jefferson County is set to close June 16.