KDSN RADIO News

Monday, May 17, 2021

State DHS having little success prodding more employees to get COVID vaccine

(Radio Iowa) - Iowa Department of Human Services officials are trying a variety of approaches to encourage more employees at its six facilities to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Reports show 36-percent of employees at DHS offices declined the shot as of May 7th. That’s the same percent that declined it five weeks before. Director Kelly Garcia says they've hosted town halls with medical experts and union representatives to address vaccine concerns.

Garcia says, "What we're hoping to do is that different people need different types of messaging, and a reason to kind of come on board."

Garcia says she did her best to address employee concerns directly at a recent town hall at Woodward Resource Center.

"What are they worried about -- fertility came up," Garcia says. "They were worried about why it makes you ill if you get the second. So why do some people have a really strong reaction to the shot? They had some really great questions."

Recent polls have shown between 20 and 25 percent of Americans say they will not get the shot. The state health department's coronavirus website shows more than one-point-two million Iowans are fully vaccinated.

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