Proposal for Vaccine Promotion Plan Denied

One waiver expanded who could administer a vaccine dose. Fred Adams / For Spotlight PA

WARREN, Pa. – A proposal by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston for a county-wide COVID-19 awareness campaign was voted down during Wednesday’s Warren County Commissioners meeting.

The plan, which was originally proposed last month by Eggleston and tabled, called for a portion of American Rescue Plan funds to work with local health care officials to adopt a promotional campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated.

“I’m willing to edit and adjust or incorporate anything anybody would be interested in so long as we felt like the medical community is supportive of it,” Eggleston said. “I don’t know if I have anything else to add at this time.”

The plan called for use of approximately $22,000 of rescue plan funds.

“At this stage, the vaccine rate in the county is somewhere in the 40s, which is low even by the state average,” Eggleston said last month. “The goal with this program is to use American Rescue Plan funds ($22,000) to use a promotion plan for the vaccines, to use local voices and recommendations of folks in the community.”

Commissioner Tricia Durbin has heard from the public both for and against vaccination.

“The last two weeks I’ve got a lot of public comments both for and against vaccination,” Durbin said. “My intention was to have an impact, an understanding of what’s going on in our medical community. I’m just wondering if that’s the role of the commissioners or health care providers. I support Rick Allen at Warren General Hospital as well as Dr. Keith Price who have kept us in the loop. They are both encouraging the vaccine.”

The motion failed, with fellow Commissioner Ben Kafferlin making his voice felt when it was brought up last month

“For my part, I can appreciate the desire to do something,” Kafferlin said. “But I’ve picked up on four themes – It’s not likely to be effective in my opinion and not likely to change no matter how much money you spend. I don’t think that it’s in our scope of work as a county government. We provide support logistics for agencies that need help. I’m all for providing options, but it’s not our place to tell people to get it.”