Houston-area officials offering $100 rewards for getting first vaccination dose

Harris County officials in Houston are offering $100 rewards for people who get their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine amid a spike in cases in Texas.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo introduced the initiative,  according to a local ABC affiliate in Houston. Harris County Public Health (HCPH) later tweeted the parameters of the reward.

According to HCPH, participants will have to sign a waiver prior to receiving their shot and will have to wait in a post-vaccination area for 15 to 30 minutes to earn their reward at the vaccination site.

Those who are eligible to receive rewards may do so through Aug. 31, when the program ends. 

Hidalgo noted that 63 percent of eligible citizens in the county are vaccinated, but the area is still experiencing a positivity rate of 20 percent, KTRK reported.

The state official also said that there are more COVID-19 patients in hospitals than during the beginning of the pandemic. 

Harris County’s new initiative comes amid the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country from the highly contagious delta variant. 

According to Harris County’s public health dashboard, 26 percent of the ICU beds in hospitals are for COVID-19 patients. 

Several other states and localities have used incentives to promote the vaccine, including lotteries, college scholarships and free alcoholic beverages. 

Last week, Tennessee State University announced that it was offering students $100 gift cards to get the coronavirus vaccine. Students can claim their gift cards by providing proof of vaccination or getting their vaccine on campus, The Associated Press reported. 

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