WARREN (Erie News Now) – At 38 percent, Warren County currently has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Pennsylvania.
With winter approaching, there is growing concern over a potential surge in cases.
“It’s something that we really need to address,” said Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston. “There’s a very good chance there’s going to be another wave of COVID-19.”
Eggleston is planning to launch a new vaccination awareness campaign.
“I think this issue with vaccination is it’s a difficult discussion,” said Eggleston. “I think that there are a lot of different perspectives on it. The perspective that I’m trying to share is one based on science, based on reason, based on the recommendations of our local medical community who are firmly behind the vaccine, want to see more people vaccinated.”
According to Eggleston, Warren General Hospital is currently at maximum capacity, and if there is a spike in COVID cases, it could push the health system over the edge.
“I think that even if we could increase it by five or 10 percent, it would make a difference,” said Eggleston. “Everything that we’ve seen is that the higher vaccination rates have a lower transmission rate overall in the county and so we want to do everything we can to get those numbers down. As far as I’m concerned, if it saves even one life in the county, it’s going to be worth it.”
Last week, Eggleston proposed using $22,000 dollars in American Rescue Plan funds to fund the campaign.
However, it was shot down by the other commissioners.
Eggleston is now applying for grants and calling on local donors to help out with the program.
“The idea is going to be to use radio, television, through the internet, especially on social media,” said Eggleston. “There is a lot of misinformation that’s been circulated. We’re trying to do a broad campaign that would focus on local voices, local leaders, giving people an opportunity to share their story and positive reasons you should get vaccinated.”