NORTH CAROLINA, USA — You could walk away with more money now if you go to get your first COVID-19 shot with a certain provider participating in the state's summer card program.
Participating locations across North Carolina are opting into the state's COVID-19 vaccine incentives program. Now, anyone 18 and older who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 shot will get a $100 Summer Card at locations offering the incentive. Anyone who drives someone to get their first shot will get a $25 card.
There are locations across the Triad participating in the program, but you have to check the state’s website to find out what locations are offering it on which dates.
The Forsyth County Health Department is offering the incentive at certain locations throughout the first week of August. Wednesday’s vaccine event was held at Crystal Towers on West 6th Street.
Health Director Joshua Swift said the health department saw a significant increase in vaccine interest when they started offering the $25 cash cards for people getting their first dose.
Swift said Forsyth County has 62 percent of the adult population with at least one shot so far.
"Our goal is to reach 70 percent by labor day and I think we can make it with this recent uptick we're seeing today and we know that's going to continue through the rest of the month," he said.
Swift said the health department saw success when it started offering $25 cash cards and thinks the latest incentive will only draw more people in.
"I think today we're going to see more than double than what we saw with the $25 gift cards. So the 100 dollar gift cards have been very successful. We're seeing people come in," he said.
He said they're currently out of cash cards for vaccinations but more are expected soon. He said they could arrive later this week and an announcement will be made when they get the new cash cards.
The Guilford County Health Department is also participating in the program. The health department will be participating starting Saturday, Aug. 7 through Aug. 31 while supplies last. Cash cards from the health department will be available at all Guilford County Department of Public Health first-dose community and mobile clinics.
“We are excited that the state has ramped up their incentive program to encourage communities to get vaccinated,” said Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann, “With the uptick in positive COVID cases these past couple of weeks, and the growing prevalence of the DELTA variant, it is incredibly important that everyone who is able to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Different providers are offering the $100 incentive throughout the Triad in counties including Alamance, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, and Wilkes. Visit the state's website and scroll down to the map to find locations, dates, and providers participating.
Health officials said the NCDHHS cash card program was launched to help encourage more people to get a COVID-19 shot and offset the cost of transportation and time associated with getting vaccinated.