SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District will begin handing out $100 H-E-B gift cards in an effort to boost arm jabs.
Starting Friday, the incentive will be offered for those receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at Metro Health vaccination sites.
Those who are fully vaccinated against the virus before Friday are not eligible for the incentive, and it will not be offered to those receiving their booster shots.
There is no age limit for the gift cards, but those between 12 and 17 years old will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, according to Metro Health.
“We hope that individuals who are still not vaccinated will take advantage of this incentive because it will take all of us getting vaccinated to end this pandemic,” Metro Health Director Claude A. Jacob said in a news release. “Our COVID vaccines can help prevent someone from getting and spreading the virus to others, and they can prevent serious illness or hospitalization.”
The news release states that City Council picked H-E-B for its vaccine incentive program because it is familiar and accessible to residents.
City Council earlier this month approved $1 million in federal grant money for up to 10,000 gift cards.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg, whose wife works for H-E-B, recused himself from the item, and District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez voted against it.
The program rolled out a day after Nirenberg reported 22 new virus deaths. He said in the past 24 hours, 114 people were admitted to the hospital, and 80% of those in local facilities are unvaccinated.