AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Commissioners started the incentive program when Delta was beginning to spread, now a new variant is surging and some are telling commissioners that their money for shots program came up short.
Augusta’s get a shot, get a gift card program is winding down after helping many get vaccinated, but not everybody.
“As of right now there’s no plan to extend the program on the city’s behalf well it was successful,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
When The incentive program started Augusta’s vaccination rate was 32 percent now its above 40 percent
But activist Moses Todd is e-mailing city leaders saying the city needs to add funding to the incentive program, to increase the vaccination rate even more.
“We have approximatley,42 percent shots in arms that’s good but not good enough. we need to work towards that herd immunity of 70 percent shots in arms,” said Moses Todd of the group I Love Augusta.
City leaders approved a million and a half dollars in Rescue act funds for vaccine incentives, because they believed it would make the community safer, that’s something city leaders say needs to be stressed.
“We know vaccines save lives; we should be having conversations on how to save more lives,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
The city has 11 million dollars in rescue act funds that are undesignated, some of those dollars could be used to keep the program going but only if commissioners are willing to spend the money.
“We can’t put all our ducks in one basket we’ve got a lot of baskets to get a duck into,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
“So, you’re not in favor of keeping the program going another three or four months?”
“No, I’m not in favor of keeping it going,” said Commissioner Williams
“Another million and a half dollars rescue funds for another incentive program?”
“No,” said Commissioner Jordan.
Even though right now a majority of Richmond County residents remain unvaccinated, putting more money to continue the incentive programs seems a long shot at best.