Delaware wants to vaccinate 17,000 people between now and July 4 to meet the goal President Joe Biden has set to have 70% of the population vaccinated by the Fourth of July.
Gov. John Carney says that means the state needs to vaccinate about 5,000 people a week for the next month.
“And celebrate Independence Day like no other,” Carney said during his weekly COVID-19 press conference Tuesday.
This goal comes with a challenge, as the state has seen a drop in the demand for the vaccine in recent weeks.
Nearly one million vaccines have been administered through the state of Delaware and the state released a new data set showing the percentages vaccinated in each age group.
Those ages 65 and older, who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 related complications, have reached a 90% vaccination rate of at least one dose. Those 18-34 have the lowest adult rate of vaccination inI the state.
In order to encourage people to be vaccinated, state has started awarding prizes for those who have gotten vaccinated and is seeking partnerships with small businesses, creating discounts and benefits for those with vaccination cards.
The first drawing for the vaccination incentive program, dubbed DE Wins! was held on May 31 at the Delaware Lottery. One $5,000 cash prize was awarded along with a two yearlong Delaware state park passes and a Wilmington Blue rocks Luxury suite pack.
The winner hasn’t been announced. The state has given each vaccinated person a number, and the lottery uses those numbers to pull winners. The numbers are then sent to the state Division of Public Health, where the winners are located. They have the option of not revealing who they are, just like lottery winners do.
The next raffle will be held on June 4, and during that one Firefly passes and camping accommodations will be awarded.
To be eligible for that one, Delawareans must be vaccinated before June 3.
The final prize drawing will be June 30, when $302,000 will be awarded to one winner and two 3-digit license plates will be awarded. Everyone in the state who had a vaccine will be eligible for that drawing.
With the loss of the Dover Speedway as a location for vaccinations and declining demand for the big event, the state has changed its approach to making vaccines available. It’s now targeting smaller areas.
The Curative vaccine clinic stationed at the Dover DelTech campus will be traveling to a different place each day starting June 8.
On Tuesdays Curative will be at Delaware State University. On Wednesdays, On Wednesday Curative will be on Newarks Main Street offering vaccines to diners during Alfresco night.
A Thursday location hasn’t been decided.
On Fridays Curative will be back at Del Tech Dover campus under the solar panels in the parking lot.
On Saturdays Curative will be at the Milford Farmers Market on South Walnut Street,
There also will be a state-run vaccination event at the Starboard in Dewey Beach on Saturday, June 5 between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
One of the things the state is trying to do is to combat myths and so encourage people who might be afraid of taking a vaccine to get a shot.
Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health, addressed during the press release in a Myth vs. Facts segment during Tuesday’s show.
No 1: Myth – The vaccine will alter my DNA. Fact – None of the vaccines interact with you DNA, so it cannot alter it.
No. 2: Myth – The vaccine injects you with a microchip. Fact- The vaccines contain things such as salts and fats along with other chemicals, but no chemicals or tracking devices. Full ingredients list for each of the vaccines can be found here.
No. 3: Myth – The vaccine will affect my chance of getting pregnant. Fact – There is no evidence that loss of fertility is a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, thousands of women have gotten the vaccine have also gotten pregnant. Rattay said that the vaccine also has no effect on children’s development or the process of puberty.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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