SAN ANTONIO – Metro Health is hoping a $100 gift card could motivate some people who have hesitated to get the COVID-19 vaccine to finally roll up their sleeves.
Previously, Metro Health has incentivized the shots by giving away Six Flags Fiesta Texas tickets and Spurs season package tickets. But after cases have started to spike again in the San Antonio area, city health officials want to up the ante.
During San Antonio City Council’s B Session on Wednesday, Dr. Anita Kurian said Metro Health is now allocating $1 million in federal grant money to provide gift cards up to $100 per person for people who get vaccinated.
“These incentives can be anything from store vouchers to generic gift cards, grocery store cards [and] gas station cards,” Kurian, assistant director of Metro Health, said.
Kurian said Metro Health is just waiting for the grant money to be approved so gift cards can be given away at pop-up vaccination events.
According to Kurian, Metro Health uses a COVID-19 index to determine areas that have been disproportionately affected by the virus. That information is then used to determine where pop-up vaccination events will be held.
Metro Health is also looking into incentives for people who need to get the second dose. Kurian said Metro Health has identified roughly 120,000 people who received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but not the second.
But Kurian said that number may be inaccurate because some of the people Metro Health contacted about receiving their second dose had already received it. Kurian blamed vaccine providers for not updating their registries.