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North Carolina being more generous with vaccine incentives

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 7:02 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Karyn Hargett, head doctor on-site at the Old North State Medical Society in Jacksonville, says they have been receiving a high call volume since Wednesday morning from citizens asking to schedule vaccine appointments.

“The $100.00 increase in cash cards has definitely had our phone ringing off the hook this morning, and it just started today,” said Hargett.

This comes as the vaccination lottery nears its end in the state, and the state government continues its push for an increase in vaccination numbers. The initial statewide vaccination incentive was a $25.00 summer card, a pre-paid Visa Mastercard given out to those receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Recently, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services increased the amount on the summer cards to $100.00 to better encourage vaccination among North Carolinians.

Ken Smithson was one of those people who got their vaccination and will receive the summer card. While admitting the money was a partial motivator, Smithson said, “I mean I’ve seen a lot of COVID patients, and they’re terribly sick. It’s terrible, I don’t want to see anybody go through it. I don’t want to go through it. I don’t want to expose my family to it. I just hope that this is going to be the end all cure all of the disease.”

In addition to those who schedule their vaccination appointments receiving cards, those who provide transportation to vaccinations will be rewarded as well. Those providing transportation will receive a $25.00 summer card for every person they drive to receive their first dose.

Several counties have already started administering the new summer cards including Lenoir County, Onslow County, Tyrell County, Washington County, and Martin County.

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