SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — There has been a total of 23 vaccine events in the past two weeks with more than 400 doses given. Attendance has ranged from just one dose given at a single event to as many as 60.

“Sometimes I feel like we’ve been pulling out all the stops,” said Cora Scott, Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement. “I’m afraid that a lot of our community has fallen prey to misinformation. And it makes it hard to encourage people to get vaccinated and feel safe.”

To help boost the city’s low COVID-19 vaccination numbers, Springfield is offering freebies to whoever rolls up their sleeves.

“Although those incentives might be inviting, they aren’t creating massive change in any sorts,” said Health Director Katie Towns.

Currently, just 38% of Greene County is fully vaccinated and COVID-19 hospitalizations are up more than 210% since June 1. Most alarming is 90% of all COVID-19 samples being sequenced from the county are testing positive for the Delta variant.

“We’re in an outbreak status and it’s for Southwest,” said Towns. ” It’s not going to stay here. We don’t have an invisible border around southwest or Greene County. This is going to spread, and the only way to get it under control is to get vaccinated at this point.”

Kendra Findley, Administrator of Community Health and Epidemiology says the Delta variant doubles your risk of hospitalizations.

“As of yesterday, we had 155 cases hospitalized due to COVID-related illness,” said Findley. “That’s the highest it’s been since January.”

Cox and Mercy report almost every COVID-19 patient is unvaccinated and now the Ozarks are a COVID-19 epicenter.