Apparently, people in North Carolina enjoy getting paid money.

On Tuesday, June 22, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced that a program meant to increase the number of COVID-19 vaccinations in the state has been working – and the department is therefore expanding the number of locations providing “$25 Summer Cards” meant to “offset the time and transportation costs of getting vaccinated.”

The program has been in effect in Guilford County and some other counties across the state, and this week North Carolina health officials said that participating vaccination sites in 38 counties will offer the cards to anyone 18 and older who get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — and the same goes for anyone who drives someone to get their vaccination.

The people in this country who really, really wanted to get vaccinated have gotten vaccinated and now states, including North Carolina, are offering creative ways to get people into vaccination sites.  Some states are offering free beers, gift cards or guns – and North Carolina is paying people 25 bucks to get vaccinated or to take someone to a site so they can get vaccinated.

A June 22 press release from NCDHHS states that an expanded program will encourage more people to get the shot.

“The expansion builds on the success of the pilot program launched in May in four counties (Mecklenburg, Guilford, Rowan and Rockingham), which distributed 1,700 Summer Cards to vaccine recipients and more than 700 cards to drivers.  More than 40 percent of people surveyed at pilot locations said having someone to drive them was a very important reason they got vaccinated at a Summer Card event, and a quarter of people surveyed said the Summer Card was a very important motivation for getting vaccinated that day.”

 NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said that some state residents need financial help to cover the cost of taking time away from work – as well as to pay for transportation.

Vaccine sites across North Carolina reported that the demand for vaccinations increased after those sites started participating in the program.