Once hesitant, more Missourians slowly opting to get vaccinated amid delta variant, incentives

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo — With Missouri offering a cash incentive for people to get vaccinated, late-comers to the vaccine game have a wide range of reasons to get vaccinated now.

Antinique Norwood is a busy mom, chasing around two kids. Her daughter’s pediatrician talked her into getting vaccinated after the 2-year-old got a respiratory infection. Norwood said it was the right message at the right time.

“The second variant coming back kind of hard is what kind of really got me in and then my babies getting sick,” Norwood said.

Angela Long, who got her second shot Friday, didn’t get vaccinated right away.

“I was really hesitant on it,” Long said. “I didn’t know how could you make something so quick that’s going to stop this.”

Her hesitancy led to infection. Long got hit by COVID-19 hard in April. She has such a bad experience, Long brought her son and granddaughter with her to be vaccinated.

“This is scaring me. This new one that they’re talking about that’s coming out now. I don’t know what to say about that. If you’re not vaccinated, you’re going to really get sick,” Long said.

About 20 people were expected to filter through a Jackson County vaccination event Friday in Independence. Benjamin Door started his process before a family vacation to Florida.

“We are going to be staying with another family, and they are wanting us to get it just to make sure of things,” Door said. “So I decided to roll on down here today to get it, and that’s the main reason.”

This week, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced a vaccine incentive program called MO VIP. Missourians who get vaccinated or who have already started the vaccination process can enter for a chance to win $10,000.

About 165,000 people have signed up so far. While people we spoke to didn’t know about it, they’re glad they know now. You can enter MO VIP here.

“That got my attention” Long said. “That got my attention for sure.”

Just 40% of Missourians are vaccinated, and Kansas is sitting at about 42%. While health experts say they have seen a small increase in vaccinations in the past week or so, it’s not enough to outrun the delta variant.

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