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Vaccination incentives popping up from providers in Charlotte: Are they working?

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It has never been easier to get a COVID-19 vaccination, and now you can even be paid to do it.

Incentives to get the shot are becoming more popular across the country, including here in North Carolina.

Money, cruise vacations, and a trip to the Super Bowl are just a few of the prizes CVS is offering to incentivize people to get the vaccine.

In Charlotte, StarMed raffled off an Xbox.

Now, the health group is partnering with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to offer $25 Summer Cash Cards.

“Anyone that’s 18 years or up getting their first dose is eligible to get the card,” StarMed COO Tracey Hummell said. “Also if you’re transporting someone to get the vaccine, you’re also eligible to receive the 25 dollar gift card.”

Hummell said, so far, the incentive is working.

“The word is spreading,” she said. “We’ve had quite a few people picking up friends in the neighborhood that don’t have transportation and making sure that they get their vaccine.”

But for women like Amy Hayes, no incentive was needed.

She watched her mother suffer from covid-19 and die from complications.

“Seeing someone with a ventilator in them is very nerve-wracking and puts things into perspective,” Hayes said.

Hayes said the card is a nice gesture, but people should talk to their doctor and seek the shot out regardless.

“The fact that we even have a vaccine, when India doesn’t have enough, there are so many places that want the vaccine, so Americans should do their best to come and get it,” Hayes said.

Hummell said she agrees but at the end of the day, they’d like to get the community protected in any way they can.

“It’s the world that we live in and at this point for everyone’s sake we just need to do what it takes to get more people out and vaccinated,” she said.

On Memorial Day, StarMed will be giving out free double bacon cheeseburgers on top of a 25 dollar gift card if you get your first dose of the vaccine.

Starting next week, the Mecklenburg County Health Department will join the pilot program and offer the gift card as well.

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