Youngstown City Council asked to approve state grant to encourage more vaccinations

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Only 31 percent of the city's population has received shots

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Vaccinations in the city of Youngstown are lagging behind those in Mahoning County as a whole.

Monday afternoon, Youngstown City Council was told what’s being done to encourage more people to get the shots.

Health commissioner Erin Bishop has been Youngstown’s face for COVID-19. During the meeting, she talked about the state of vaccinations in the city.

“Again, our numbers aren’t crazy like they were. We were doing 600 a day. Now, we’re down to 40-50,” Bishop said.

Bishop is asking council to approve a $212,000 state grant to convince more people in Youngstown to get vaccinated. She says only 31 percent of the city’s population has received shots compared with 42 percent in Mahoning County and 43 percent statewide.

“We were able to get this grant money to help pay for advertising. So you’ll be seeing a commercial coming along pretty soon with Mayor Brown and President Jim Tressel,” Bishop said.

Bishop says one of Youngstown’s worst-performing zip codes for vaccines has been 44510 — the area around the Eugenia Atkinson Center that Governor Mike DeWine visited and where Brown received a shot.

“I know that where the Eugenia Atkinson Center is, it’s surrounded by public housing and by leases from other entities,” said 3rd Ward councilwoman Samantha Turner.

The Youngstown zip codes with the best vaccination rates were also mentioned. Number one at 40 percent is 44504 — the Fifth Avenue corridor — followed by 38 percent in 44511, which is from the Idora Neighborhood, west to Cornersburg.

“So we have some ways to go when we’re looking at the city of Youngstown. We’re very proud of all the people who have been vaccinated but there’s still a group that’s kind of holding back,” Bishop said.

Youngstown City Council will vote on whether to accept the grant on Wednesday.

Also on the agenda for Wednesday is a proposal to spend $3,000 to install security cameras in the Idora Neighborhood. Plus, whether to terminate a tax abatement for Allied Consolidated Industries since it’s no longer in business and never met the job creation commitments. Finally, council is expected to decide on a zone change for Alex Zordich to open a specialty restaurant in an old house in Smokey Hollow.

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