Rita Water Ice’s mascot the “Ice Guy” is now vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s part of Bucks County’s new campaign to encourage more people to get a shot.
Starting Thursday, anyone who gets a vaccine at a Bucks mass vaccine clinic will get a coupon for a free Rita’s water ice.
They have $30,000 worth of coupons to give out. Bucks County Commissioner Chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia said Rita’s covered $20,000. The rest of the funds came out of the county’s COVID-19 relief dollars.
Bucks Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker administered the Ice Guy’s shot with a big plastic needle at the Neshaminy Mall early Thursday afternoon. The mascot gave a big thumbs up for the cameras.
Damsker says it’s clear the vaccines are working.
“We had 50 people in the hospital and 49 of them were not vaccinated,” Damsker said of the past weekend. “Those numbers are pretty powerful. We’re out of the realm of the experiment now. We’re in real life.”
The push comes as supply of shots is now greater than demand. Damsker notes about 20,000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines are set to expire at the end of June.
“We’re seeing less people today than we did a month ago, but I can tell you we’re still seeing people every single day,” Damsker added. He said there are still many people who don’t know where they can get a vaccine and call the health department to ask questions.
“There are plenty of people out there to reach. And I guarantee you there’s a sliver of people that don’t even know much about the vaccine or where they can get it. If we keep pushing we can hopefully get into that segment of the population.”
Meantime, Commissioner Bob Harvie revealed one mass vaccine site in Lower Bucks will close at the end of this month. He said the Neshaminy Mall site will remain open, implying the site at Bucks County Community College’s Epstein Campus in Bristol may close.