North Carolina is expanding a program that provides $25 gift cards as incentives to get COVID-19 vaccinations.
The $25 Summer Card incentive is meant to offset the time and transportation costs of getting vaccinated. It's offered to anyone 18 and older who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a participating site.
The pilot program concentrated on 10 counties including Guilford, Rockingham, and Alamance. Since its launch in May, the state has distributed 1,700 Summer Cards to vaccine recipients and more than 700 cards to drivers.
Based on that success, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is expanding the program to participating sites in 45 counties, including Forsyth and Watauga.
According to a NCDHHS news release, more than 40% of people surveyed said having someone to drive them was a very important reason they got vaccinated at a Summer Card event, while a quarter of participants said the card was an important motivation for their getting vaccinated.
Officials say the results show that the program is helping to reach the most vulnerable residents.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Forsyth County was not included in the Summer Card program. Forsyth was not included in the original news release provided by NCDHHS, but the department has since updated the information.