Vaccine incentive program starting, but guidelines not in practice


AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Behind the doors at the Richmond County Health Department’s south Augusta clinic, vaccinations are going on. This was already scheduled before the commission approved the incentive program, but are $100-dollar dollar gift cards being handed out? Not today.  

Paul Latson came to the south Augusta clinic for his first COVID shot, he heard about the incentive program. 

“I like the idea and I hope they do it. It will be safer for everybody,” Latson said. 

“You’re not here for 100 dollars?” 

“I’m here just to get my shot,” he said.  

Commissioners approved the incentive program Thursday. The plan is for city to partner with the health department to provide gift cards to those getting fully vaxxed. 

“It was my understanding it would start immediately, so immediately after the vote. Technically it could have started yesterday afternoon or did it start today,” said Commissioner John Clarke.   

People were getting shots today, but not under any incentive program guidelines.  

“At this time, we’re still in discussions on how the process is going to work, but yes we are excited to move forward and get more people vaccinated at this time,” said Shalonna Stewart Health Department Nurse Practitioner, 

Commissioners approved the program but are short on details.  

“If you are halfway between the vaccine cycle that you got the first part, but you haven’t got the second part, do you qualify?” said Commissioner Clarke.  

 At least one of those today was getting their second does, so they’re now fully vaccinated  

“Now this is your second?”  

“Yes sir.” Said Brian Mack  

“Should you get 100 dollars?” 

“Yes,” said Mack. 

“You would want that?”  

“Yeah, I would want it,” said Mack. 

No gift cards handed out today, but a lot of interest in getting them.

“Are you getting a lot more phone calls and inquiries about the 100 dollars?”  

“Yes, we are,” said Nurse Stewart. 

Now commissioners I’m talking to say they believe this is opening a can of worms. They say there are too many questions, still they say the city should not have proceeded in approving the vaccination program on Thursday

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