Vaccine incentive program clinics out of gift cards

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AUGUSTA (WJBF) – Many came to this clinic to get a shot and a gift card  

city officials say 15 thousand people have been fully vaccinated under the incentive program. 

 “I wasn’t a fan of paying anyone, but the program seems to have gotten a lot of people vaccinated which what we wanted,” said Commissioner John Clarke.  

 In August commissioners approving using one point five million dollars in federal rescue act money to provide gift cards to those getting vaccinated.  

 The program is to run until the end of the year, but the Health Department is already out of cards, and commissioners do not plan to restock. 

“And some of the sites were busier, than others that used up a lot of cards there are a few people that were not able to get the incentive but was able to get the vaccination,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams. 

 But the city’s other partner still has some cards left and will be able to hand them out while they last. even if it goes past January. 

“The cards are already out there they’re floating around,” said Commissioner Clarke.   

 There have been questions about the final costs or the program and the administrator saying there will be a final report in January but ads the program is well under budget.  

“The balance is around about 220 thousand dollars that would be unspent so we would exceed our expectations but underspent,” said Donald.  

 Commissioners could approve using that money to keep the program going and get more people vaccinated, but right now that appears to be a shot in the dark.

As for those 200 thousand dollars, the administrator has recommended it go to the library which is facing a budgetary shortfall. 

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