AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Even with two thirds of Augusta Richmond County residents are not vaccinated yet, there is opposition to the commission incentive program that has Mayor Hardie Davis saying its time to stop playing politics with the pandemic.
The proposal, those getting fully vaccinated get $100, but some commissioners are firing their own shots at the plan.
“Why do we need to pay people to go get free vaccinations it just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
But for Mayor Hardie Davis what doesn’t make sense is opposition to a program to get more people vaccinated.
“It’s unfortunate we’re having so much conversation about whether people should be vaccinated or shouldn’t all of these politics and conversations need to stop we need to be focused on saving lives and doing everything we can,” said Mayor Davis.
But some say having the city hand out money to people getting the vaccination is risky.
“As the county starts paying people to come get vaccinated and something happens with these vaccines does that put the city liable,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
But program supporters don’t think so.
“I’m not really concerned about liabilities because there is no liability, I think at the end of the day the only liability that we have is lost lives due to unvaccinated people,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
“Giving $100, I just see this as opening up a can of worms,” said Commissioner McKnight
“I’ve heard elected officials talk about pandemic politics it’s time for the pandemic politics to stop and for us to focus on vaccinating people,” said Mayor Davis.
Now the goal of this one-million-dollar incentive program is to get about 10 thousand people vaccinated but even supporters like Commissioner Jordan Johnson that could be a heavy lift.