Vaccine incentive program off but not running


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – COVID is spiking, the Augusta-Richmond County vaccination rate is poor, commissioners are thinking the incentive program is a good way to get more shots in arms, however this program is rolling out slowly.

 At the Health Department’s South Augusta clinic there are shots and questions.

“Everybody is asking for their money, they’re excited to get the shot but they want their money, and they think we have it in our pocket, no we don’t so please someone please let them know of let us know how they get their money so they can forward them to you,” said nurse Waliya Thompson-Vannuck.

Last week commissioners approved a $100 incentive program for those who get fully vaxxed.

But as the program enters its first full week there’s no information about it on the City website, or the Health Departments website. 

On the Monday before the program was approved, the Health Department gave 34 shots, the Monday after it was approved 30 shots, and many are still in the dark about the City’s vaccine incentive program.

“Did you know about the $100?  

“No, I did not, I did not know about the $100,” said Amy Dykes who was getting her shot to attend her daughter’s graduation.

This afternoon new information Administrator Odie Donald tweeting that the incentive program is set to launch mid-September, and those getting their first shots as of August 19th at an authorized clinic would qualify, but this is news to some commissioners.

“If people are coming back and showing up at the Health Department and the Health Department doesn’t know what’s going on I don’t think it has been carefully thought out as it should be,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.

After approving the program last week commissioners were told they could revisit it in 90 days if it’s not having the impact that was expected.

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