Vaccine providers offer incentives for last-minute skeptics

The state’s vaccination rate has slowed to the levels when the vaccine rollout first began, and has fallen by about 300,000 doses administered per week since its height in early April.
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 5:05 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - If you still haven’t gotten your COVID vaccine, providers are trying to get you off the fence.

StarMed, one of the vaccine providers in Onslow County, offers plenty of incentives for you to get your shot this week.

Health officials say they hope it will reach out to some last-minute vaccine skeptics.

“The lifting of the mask mandate has encouraged some people to come out and get vaccinated,” said Onslow County Health Department Spokesperson Victoria Reyes. “But we still have a lot of work to do.”

According to state data, the vaccine rollout has slowed significantly since its peak in early April, dropping by over 300,000 doses per week.

“It’s what we expected,” said StarMed Chief Medical Officer Dr. Arin Piramzadian. “We expected there would be an initial difficulty to get the vaccine, there would be a huge population that gets it, and now we’re just fighting to finish this off.”

StarMed is offering incentives to boost the rates up to where they believe they need to be. They’re offering incentives from vouchers at this weekend’s farmer’s market, the chance to win an Xbox Series X, or a free drink at participating bars and restaurants.

“It’s going to be a little hard,” said Piramzadian. “It’s a little difficult because the people who really wanted it got it already.”

It’s something health officials are hoping will boost the state’s slowing vaccination rates, as they turn from their initial goal of reaching herd immunity to simply vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible.

“They’re readily available. So now is the time to get vaccinated,” said Reyes.

You can register to get a COVID-19 vaccine with StarMed here. The provider will be selecting a random person who received a vaccine this week to win an Xbox Series X on Friday.

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