Polk County Vaccinations Rise, But So Do Cases Ahead Of State Fair

In preparation of the upcoming Iowa State Fair and in light of the dominant Delta variant, Polk County officials want to make sure more people are protected from COVID-19.

To do that, they’ve set up a new incentive. Today, if someone gets their first or second dose of the vaccine, they will also get two free tickets for the State Fair and two tickets for a free food item. The offer is good at the Polk County Health Department between 3 and 6 p.m.

Since June, Polk County has also offered a lottery for people who get vaccinated. It hasn’t been as effective as officials hoped, but the county is still getting people vaccinated.

Polk County has reported their vaccination rate is approaching 65 percent of the eligible population according to the Des Moines Register, with a goal of 75 percent before the school year starts. And there’s been a recent increase in interest to get the vaccine.

“Last week we did about a little over 2,300 vaccinations and they were up from the previous two weeks,” said Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly. “We’re just trying to do what we can to get back to normal and we’re teetering on a fine edge and we know that we don’t want to be thrown back into what we saw in early 2020 at the start of that pandemic.”

The increased vaccinations will be necessary as the Delta variant continues to spread in the state. Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines is at capacity, and has been there, or close to it, for weeks.

New data at the Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, compiled daily by Sara Anne Willette from state data, shows Polk County seeing a sharp increase in the number of active cases in the past week, going from 118 active infections the week of July 7 to 373 infections in the week of July 14. The active cases for this week will be available tomorrow.

This incentive using State Fair tickets is just another way to coax more people into getting protected.

“I think anything we do as an incentive helps,” Connolly said. “If we get 50 people, 20 people, that’s more people with shots in arms so it just helps us get to our end goal.”


by Nikoel Hytrek
Posted 7/20/21

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