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Healthcare providers create COVID-19 vaccine incentives with return of baseball

Offering the Johnson & Johnson one-dose shot at a Columbus Clippers home opener is one way providers are getting creative.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the first time since 2019, fans will be allowed to attend the Columbus Clippers home opener game on Tuesday. The ballpark will be at 30% capacity and fans will have a unique opportunity.

Behind home plate, from the first inning to the third, fans can get the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at no cost. And, there’s a great view of the game from the clinic, so fans won’t miss a second of the action.

It’s an effort through Mount Carmel to bring vaccines to where people are, as they have seen a decrease in demand.

“We are seeing a slight decrease in demand at some of our mass vaccination locations but we’re hopeful that a convenient location, like the Clipper’s game, will help drive up interest.” said Virginia Ruef, regional pharmacy officer.

According to the Delaware Public Health District Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson, the demand there has also decreased. Last week they had more than 700 available appointments and only 50 were filled. She said it was a very different story even one week before that. And there is also another concerning trend they are seeing: People are not showing up for their second vaccine appointments.

Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts also said they are seeing less interest in the COVID-19 vaccine.

So many providers are trying to think of creative ways to meet people where they are, and offer some sort of incentive to get vaccinated.

Over the weekend, Columbus Crew Soccer Club supporters had the chance to get vaccinated at a clinic located at the game Saturday. According to Columbus Public Health, 18 people were vaccinated at the game.

The shots at Huntington Park will be available from May 11 – May 16 for fans 18 and older. The process will take 15 minutes, and then fans will be monitored for a short time afterwards, where they will still be able to watch the game.

100 doses are available for Tuesday’s game.

If fans would rather get another brand of vaccine, the team from Mount Carmel will be able to help set up appointments for one of their vaccination sites.

If you plan on getting vaccinated at the game, Ruef said you should bring your I.D. and insurance card.

“By being in places where we can [hear] questions and give them answers it just really helps meet the patient where they are,” said Ruef, “making it as convenient as possible.”

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