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Winnebago County Health Department takes new steps to encourage the COVID-19 vaccine

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Winnebago County Vaccine

ROCKFORD (WREX) — As eagerness to take the COVID-19 vaccine dwindles, the Winnebago County Health Department is taking different approaches to get people vaccinated.

"You know when you talk about hesitancy and you define it, it's just not on their radar. Maybe they are complacent. So how do we entice them to come in?" said Winnebago County Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell.

Dr. Martell says they are trying to entice people by hosting new events, like a pop-up food truck event, where people can get the vaccine and then enjoy food and games.

The health department also is hosting gift card drawings, where people can win a gift card if they refer someone to get vaccinated at the Sandy Hollow vaccine location.

"Both the individual who got vaccinated and the individual who got referred are eligible for gift cards for various businesses in our community," said Martell.

Along with posting important information about the vaccine on their website and Facebook page, the health department is working with different communities to host vaccine clinics.

One recent clinic was held at the Muslim Association of Greater Rockford, where 12-year-old Mahin Utzaman got his vaccine.

"It wasn't really that bad. It was really quick," said Utzaman.

He says the vaccine has allowed him to see his grandfather again.

"Almost a year, I didn't see him. He usually comes over every year. Not seeing him, he is just a good person. I mean he helps out with a lot of things, he shows me cool things," said Utzaman.

The health department says it will also be promoting the vaccine with Tik Tok videos.

Lauren Baker

Lauren Baker is the 13 News weekend evening anchor. She started in April of 2019 after moving from Michigan, where she was a morning producer/traffic reporter.

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