Local experts react to WVDE contest to increase vaccinations among students

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - The West Virginia Department of Education is introducing a contest to increase vaccinations among students.

Throughout the state, one high school, one middle school and one elementary school will earn $5,000 for having the highest percentage of eligible persons vaccinated.

“Anything that encourages individuals to get vaccinated is a good thing,” said Director of Safety at Upshur County Schools Dr. Jeff Harvey

Dr. Harvey says that the district has offered vaccine clinics and shared information about the benefits of getting vaccinated already, but proving an incentive could provide an added boost in numbers.

“I applaud the creativity and I am intrigued by some of the ideas and I think that when we go through these types of things it’ll give us some good ideas on what might work if we face these situations in the future,” Dr. Harvey continued.

Dr. Harvey believes getting people vaccinated should be done in a way where families feel comfortable.

Dr. Harvey says, “to educate those families to make the best decision for their particular context I think is very important so if you run an incentive along side some of those education efforts then I think that is a stronger idea.”

Local pediatrician Dr. Kathryn Moffett says that she’s all for the contest. She said, “I think it’s great, I really love it.”

Both experts agree that any movement on the vaccine effort is a good thing.

Dr. Moffett says, ”I think 12, 13, 14 all the way up to 18 can make their own health decisions with good sound advice.”

“We know that there have been disruptions to our students lives, our students learning processes and we want to try to get any many as those things back on track as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Harvey.

The winners of this challenge will be announced the week of October 3, 2021.

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