YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, finally made it to Youngstown this week, his first visit since the pandemic began.
Brown visited the Covelli Center Thursday to see how the Youngstown City Health District was running its vaccination effort. While there, he spoke to vaccine recipients, city officials, and members of the Ohio Army National Guard.
“No question about it, this vaccine is safe. No question about it, this vaccine is effective, ”he said. “We’re never going to get our economy back and we’re going to run all cylinders until we get close to all of the vaccinated. This is our mission. “
In the US, demand for the vaccine has declined over the past month. In Ohio and Youngstown, vaccination center numbers have also decreased.
Erin Bishop, city health commissioner, said 75 people should be shot dead at the Covelli Center on Thursday. The decline in vaccine demand coincides with the flattening of case numbers locally and nationally. Bishop said the city health department had fired 126,000 shots in the arms in the past three months.
“We got clinics with about 800 people. Now it’s around 75 today, which is a feast for us, ”said Bishop. “But we’ll keep getting out of there.”
With national numbers suggesting that those who are ready and willing to get vaccinated have done it – or will soon – the focus is now on moving the people who are still on the fence away convince them to get their shots. Bishop said the key is that family and friends use their experience to inform members of the ward who have not yet received the shot.
“We have to keep telling stories,” said Brown. “Family members, friends. People trust their pastor, their doctor, their nurse, their cousin, their spouse more than the mayor, me or the health commissioner. “
Brown also addressed the increased demand for labor after businesses reopened. He said the labor shortage is a combination of factors, from low wages to parents choosing to stay home due to a lack of childcare.
“Most people who have left work are female because their children were at home and they couldn’t find daycare or their children are young and they couldn’t find a good daycare,” Brown said. “So much of it is Washington’s failure that we are now starting to fix.”
Brown said he doesn’t think there will be a nationwide requirement to get the vaccine. He said America is divided into three categories: those who want the vaccine, those who are reluctant to get it, and those who don’t.
“There are some people in the media who keep talking about it, who lie about it, who make up the stories to scare people,” Brown said. “And most of the people I know who haven’t got vaccines are scared of it.”
Brown believes vaccination efforts will reach this insecure group of America once the fear subsides.
“The way to do this is to continue the public effort and keep telling people’s stories,” he said.
Pictured: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown speaks to a patient at the Youngstown City Health District vaccination clinic at Covelli Center Thursday.
Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.