Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) toured the Cincinnati Health Department on Friday. Nurses who have given COVID-19 vaccinations spoke about the progress of the rollout and public reception.
Brown says medical professionals tell him that people who aren’t ready to get the shot need to hear positive stories from people they know.
“It’s really not enough for people to hear from me, or even from Dr. Fauci. People need to hear from reluctant friends or neighbors or relatives who have received the vaccine and tell them how safe it is and how important it is he is, “he says. “This is about sharing stories.”
He admits that people in rural communities are less likely to be vaccinated or ready to get the shot.
“The rural population was a little harder to reach,” he says. “That might have something to do with politics. That might have something to do with the view that they are less exposed because they don’t have that many people. That’s not entirely true.”
He says the road to success is to double the efforts of medical professionals and re-vaccinated people to encourage their peers.
Brown praises DeWine; Shares thoughts on candidates for Portman’s seat
Regarding the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the decision should be left to the medical profession. He commended Governor Mike DeWine for following CDC recommendations.
“I think the governor has had a steady hand on this. I wish I could say the same about the legislature and the way the legislature has politicized it.”
When asked about his thoughts on occupying the seat of outgoing Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) with a Democrat, Brown believes the odds are good.
“Partly because the five – that’s as political as I’m about to get it, but since you asked – the five Republican Senate nominees are like kids in a playground sticking their tongues out and saying Donald Trump loves me More than he loves you. That’s really what we’ve seen so far in Republican Elementary School. “
Brown adds that he believes the race for the Senate seat and Ohio governor will be competitive.
Current outreach efforts in Cincinnati
Much of the current advance in Cincinnati is currently reaching black and minority communities. The health department is planning vaccination clinics and blocking party-style events in the neighborhood to make vaccination easier.
Radio One personality Lashonda Hatch, better known as “Tropikana” among 101.1 The Wiz listeners, says she encourages her listeners to get vaccinated and asks her listeners to encourage each other to do the same. The station’s target audience is 18- to 34-year-old African Americans, she says.
“The only thing you hear is that we are scared of the vaccination, and that’s not true. People just want more facts and information,” she says. “It’s more of a generation that wants quick access to (the vaccine) without going to the electoral board. It’s more about bringing it right to them and letting them know that I will lead by example and show you I was vaccinated so you are okay too. You just have to see it. “
As in Hamilton County, the Cincinnati Health Department is preparing to reach children ages 12-15 once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extends approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
“I want to convince the parents that it’s okay. The vaccine is safe,” says Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore. “We hope to hear good news next week … and my medical director is ready to work with our schools as we have done in the past.”
Sen. Brown is touring the state promoting the American rescue plan and encouraging people to get vaccinated.