You better hurry if you want to collect the $100 cash card incentive for getting a COVID-19 vaccination shot.
The State of North Carolina’s $100 “Summer Card” program ends on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
As part of the state’s effort to get as many North Carolinians as possible vaccinated, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has been offering $100 Summer Cards – basically, cash cards with a fancy name – at some vaccination sites.
Officially, according to state officials, the cards are being distributed “to offset the time and transportation costs of getting vaccinated.”
Through Aug. 31, anyone 18 or older who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will receive a $100 card after that vaccination.
The state has also been throwing in a little something special for people who drive others to vaccination appointments at some sites: The drivers get a $25 cash card each time they transport someone to an appointment, as long as that person gets vaccinated.
State officials say the programs have been effective in getting people to take the shots. Since increasing the amount for those getting vaccinations from $25 to $100 on Wednesday, Aug. 4, several vaccine providers saw “a noticeable increase in demand, and many ran out of their card allotments in a single day.”
State health officials added that “Providers also saw increases of up to 98 percent in the number of Summer Card recipients compared to the prior week.
While this program will sunset on Aug. 31, the NCDHHS is planning new ways to lure people in to get vaccinated.
While the cold hard cash – well, the cold hard cash-card really – has gotten some people to get vaccinated in the state, it has made some even more reluctant. One 51-year-old state resident with no intention to get vaccinated said, “If it worked like they say, they wouldn’t have to push it so hard – I’ve never seen a vaccine with its own PR campaign.”
Local, state and federal health officials, on the other hand, say that the vaccines are safe and effective.
To find a free vaccine from a provider near you, you can visit MySpot.nc.gov or call 888-675-4567. If you prefer texting, you can also text your zip code to 438829 to find vaccine locations near you.