COLUMBUS (WCMH) – COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in Ohio, and that increase has doctors making an even stronger push to get people vaccinated.

Columbus Public Health’s cash-for-vaccines incentive program is trying to help get more people vaccinated, and leaders said it’s getting results.

“From a public health perspective, we are happy to see more people vaccinated,” said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts.

She said this is especially good as COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in every state.

“On Friday, we saw an increase of 130 cases. That’s pretty high,” she said.

Roberts said that in the past few months, they’ve had between 40 to 50 cases a day. This goes to show how fast these COVID-19 cases are rising, especially with the delta variant in Ohio.

One other thing medical experts are worried about is that hospitalization numbers also seeing an increase by 30 percent.

“We only have about 50 percent of our population, let alone 50 percent of our state, vaccinated,” Roberts said. “So 1 in 2 people aren’t vaccinated when you’re out and about.”

Through the $100 incentive program, the highest turnout for vaccines has been at three out of 10 sites: Columbus Public Health, Barack Community Center, and Westgate Community Center.

“Thus far, since we’ve started this effort, so we’re only two weeks in, we’ve given out 2,200 incentives, so that means we’ve vaccinated over 2,200 people,” Roberts said.

Though vaccine rates have slowed down in the last week, she is still considering any vaccination a win.

“We just didn’t see the same amount of increase, but there was still an increase,” Roberts said. “The actual raw number was even better. We saw a 50 percent increase which is good, compared to where we had been. If I see a 20 percent, 30 percent increase or even 10 percent increase, I’m going to be happy with that.”

As of now, 55 percent of those who have been vaccinated through Columbus Public Health’s vax-for-cash incentive have been people of color. About 52 percent have been under the age of 39.

“That’s the youngest demographic we’ve been trying to get,” she said.

Columbus Public Health will continue to provide gift cards while supplies last to Franklin County residents.

The clinics are scheduled to be open through Aug. 16, from 12-7 p.m., at the listed locations on the following days.

  • Mondays: Linden Community Center (1350 Briarwood Ave.)
    William H. Adams Community Center (854 Alton Ave.)
  • Tuesdays: Far East Community Center (1826 Lattimer Dr.)
    Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (4099 Karl Rd.)
  • Wednesdays: Barack Community Center (580 E. Woodrow Ave.)
    Somali Community Association of Ohio (3422 Cleveland Ave.)
  • Thursdays: Sullivant Gardens Community Center (755 Renick St.)
    Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio (4646 Tamarack Blvd.)
  • Fridays: Westgate Community Center (455 S. Westgate Ave.)
    St. Stephen the Martyr Church (4131 Clime Rd.)

For more information on the neighborhood satellite clinics and vax cash, click here. You can also call 614-645-1519.