Tennessee Isn’t Giving Individuals Cash to Get a COVID Shot, However It Does Pay to Vaccinate Cows – NBC Boston

Tennessee has sent nearly half a million dollars to farmers who have vaccinated their cattle against respiratory and other diseases in the past two years.

But Republican Governor Bill Lee, who grew up on his family’s ranch and describes himself as a rancher on his Twitter profile, was far less enthusiastic about herd immunity incentives in humans.

Despite having some of the lowest vaccination rates in Tennessee, Lee has refused to follow the example of other states in enticing people to receive the potentially life-saving COVID-19 vaccine.

Lee wasn’t always against vaccinations.

Tennessee’s herd health program began in 2019 under Lee, whose family business Triple L Ranch raises Polled Hereford cattle. The state is currently reimbursing participating farmers up to $ 1,500 for vaccinating their herds and has distributed $ 492,561 over the past two fiscal years, according to Tennessee Department of Agriculture documents.

Lee, who has so far avoided pulling a serious major Republican challenge on his 2022 re-election bid, has been accused of complacency in the face of the deadly pandemic. Tennessee’s vaccination rates for COVID-19 are 39% of the total population, up from over 49% nationwide for the fully vaccinated. The state’s COVID hospital admissions have more than tripled in the past three weeks and infections have more than quintupled.

At the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association annual conference on Friday, Lee said he doesn’t think incentives are very effective, WBIR-TV reported. “I don’t think that’s the government’s role,” he added. “The government’s role is to make them available and then encourage people to get a vaccine.”

In an email response to a question about the contrast to incentive vaccination for cattle, spokesman Casey Black wrote, “Tennesseans have every incentive to get the COVID-19 vaccine – it’s free and available in every corner of the state with virtually no waiting. While a veterinarian can weigh up safely raising cattle for consumption, the state will continue to provide information and access to COVID-19 vaccines to the people of Tennessee.

After Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine announced the state’s Vax-a-Million Lottery on May 12, with prizes that included $ 1 million and full college scholarships, many other states across the country followed suit their own incentives. These include custom trucks in West Virginia, annual passes to state parks in New Jersey, and gift certificates for hunting and fishing licenses in Arkansas. Last week, President Joe Biden joined the call for incentives, encouraging state and local governments to use federal funds to pay people $ 100 for vaccination.

But Lee has avoided using any of these tactics and has maintained throughout the pandemic that the decision to vaccinate against COVID-19 is a personal choice.

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said Monday 3 million Americans received their first COVID vaccine in the seven days.

“We encourage people from Tennessee to speak to their doctor, their clergy, their family members, the trusted voices in their lives, so that they can make a personal decision about whether or not to receive the vaccine,” he recently told Reporters, “but we encourage this because it is the tool we can use to most effectively fight this virus.”

Lee was vaccinated against COVID-19 but did not publish it as he did when he got his flu shot.

More recently, Lee’s government has come under fire after the state vaccination chief was fired to appease GOP lawmakers outraged about the spread of COVID-19 vaccinations among minors. At a June hearing, a Republican lawmaker called an ad promoting youth vaccination “objectionable” and some went so far as to suggest withdrawing health department funding.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus was vocal about the political motives for her firing and shared her positive performance reviews with the press. Fiscus also called on the Ministry of Health to stop using all vaccinations for children, not just COVID-19. The department has since resumed contact, but says it is aimed at parents only.

Lee initially remained silent on the controversy. Then, at a recent press conference, Lee said he supported Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey and her decisions, although he said he had no direct say in them.

Dr. Jason Martin, who has been treating COVID-19 patients in Sumner County since the beginning of the pandemic, is so disappointed with the state’s response that he is considering running for governor himself. The Democrat wishes Lee were “excited about motivating Tennessee people to take a safe, effective, and life-saving vaccine,” he said. “It would help us defeat COVID, keep our businesses open and successful, and get our children back to school safely. ”

Black, Lee’s spokesman, wouldn’t answer a question about whether the governor’s family farm received money from the herd health program, but Department of Agriculture records show no one surnamed Lee as a recipient.

Dr. Uché Blackstock, MSNBC medical assistant, says vaccine hesitation could go away if the FDA grants the vaccine full approval instead of its current emergency status. After taking this step, Blackstock is suggesting governments and employers make it less convenient for people to stay unvaccinated – an approach that is already having an impact on hospital workers.

Islesboro teenagers spent years elevating cash for his or her senior journey. As a substitute, they used the cash to vaccinate the island.

ISLESBORO, Maine – For the students at Islesboro Central School, the class trip is a really big deal.

Teenagers who go to school on the tiny island of Maine have visited places as exotic as Iceland, Norway and Panama in recent years. The school trip is something that students dream of and work towards for years by running fundraising drives.

“It definitely means a lot to all students,” said Olivia Britton, 17, a Belfast graduate, this week.

But the coronavirus pandemic has shaken travel and fundraising plans for both classes in 2020 and 2021. So instead of packing their bags, the 13 high school graduates did something special this spring.

They decided to donate much of the money they raised before the pandemic – a total of $ 5,000 – to the Islesboro Community Fund, which will use it to set up vaccine clinics on the island and help islanders in need.

The student donation helped pay for the administrative aspects of running the vaccine clinics, including purchasing personal protective equipment, transportation costs, and paying overtime for workers. The efforts have paid off. Islesboro has a 99% vaccination rate for COVID-19, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I think the engagement of the Islesboro seniors is heartwarming,” said Owen Howell, medical assistant at Islesboro Health Center, who ran the clinics. “I think it’s selfless from them. You show wonderful leadership qualities in times of COVID. I know they would have loved to go on their journey. But they make the most of it and do something important with all the sweat it has cost. ”

The teens said they wanted to share their money with the community because it was the community that helped them raise it in the first place. They bought the concessions that high school seniors sold at home games and bought tickets to the spaghetti and Thanksgiving dinners they hosted.

“The island has supported us all along,” said Britton. “They came to all of our dinners and were very nice and busy with us. They didn’t mind if we screwed it up. ”

Liefe Temple, 18, of Lincolnville, another graduate, said it didn’t feel right for students to try other ideas.

“When it became clear we couldn’t use the money on a school trip, it felt really weird to use the money on something else or keep it for ourselves,” she said. “That’s not what the community gave us for.”

So they gave a lot of it back.

Your generosity meant a lot to the islanders, not only for what the money did, but also for the impetus behind the donation.

The 70-year-old Islesboro Community Fund helps residents in need who may have difficulty paying medical, fuel, or utility bills. It also supports a scholarship program to help young Islesboro teenagers meet expenses for higher education or post-secondary education.

“We had a running list of organizations,” said Temple. “We thought the community fund would make sense because they did all this COVID relief and COVID was the main reason we couldn’t make the trip.”

Islesboro Community Fund president Fred Thomas said the Class of 2021 donation specifically helped islanders facing unforeseen medical expenses and food security issues due to the pandemic. It also helped offset the cost of running the COVID-19 vaccination clinic on the island.

Islesboro Central School seniors practice marching prior to graduation, which will take place on Sunday, June 13th. Photo Credit: Courtesy Olivia Britton

“Everyone is very proud of them,” said Thomas. “I think it’s more than generous. Not only does it show maturity beyond their years, it also shows that these students are aware of the need in their community and are ready to do something about it. ”

He and others will officially recognize the students’ gift on Sunday, June 13, just before their high school graduation ceremony.

“Adults, those over 50, usually complain about today’s youth,” said Thomas. “I think the opposite is the case with these guys at least.”

For their part, the students thought it was cool that their donation helped the islanders get vaccinated and hope that with the money they have reserved they can do something as a class, which John van Dis, a science teacher at Islesboro Central School and one of the Senior Class Advisors, the estimate is between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000.

It won’t be a trip to Italy or Greece. But for the 2021 class, it’ll be a chance to do something fun with their friends before they blow up and leave high school behind for good.

“Many seniors have missed a lot. It was part of that kind of shared experience of the absence of rites of passage, ”said Britton. “We said it would be fun to play bowling, play mini golf, and get pizza.”

We will vaccinate our means out of this epidemic if all adults get photographs, says physician

Daylight saving time in the United States could return to pre-Covid-19 normal if 75% to 80% of the US population are vaccinated, said Dr. Peter Hotez on Friday.

“We can vaccinate out of this epidemic if all adults and adolescents are vaccinated by summer. We can have an exceptional quality of life by returning to concerts and music events, as well as ball games, bars, restaurants, clubs and clubs.” all the things we like to do so we have to work towards them, “said Hotez.

Hotez, co-director of the vaccine development center at Texas Children’s Hospital, told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” However, this vaccine hesitation will prevent the US from vaccinating 75% to 80% of the population.

The demand for the Covid-19 vaccine has dropped across states. Louisiana, for example, asked for fewer cans because the demand was so low. Polls show that more than 40% of Republicans have no plans to get vaccinated, and Hotez advised health professionals to reach out to conservative groups to help protect the entire US population.

“About 40% to 45% of Republicans say they may not or may not take the vaccine, and when you add the numbers that’s about 10% of the adult population,” Hotez said. “There we have to work harder to reach conservative groups … that we have to fix.”