Thursday, 26 August 2021 11:30

It pays to get the shot

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It pays to get the shot Courtesy of the Houston Health Department

 

Need a reason to get the COVID-19 vaccine? How about getting paid to get it?

City and county officials are now incentivizing the COVID-19 vaccine programs by offering Houston and Harris County residents gift cards aimed at getting residents vaccinated as the COVID-19 virus continues to wreak havoc on the community.

The Houston Health Department will provide gift cards valued at $100 to people who get their first dose administered at an eligible HHD site starting Aug. 26. They will receive gift cards valued at $50 when after receiving their second dose at an eligible HHD site. 

People will have to have received their first dose on or after Aug. 2 and complete the series within 42 days to receive the second dose incentive.

Harris County will offer $100 gift cards to residents who get fully vaccinated at their sites.

The gift card incentive program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. Cards will be provided at the time of the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, an HHD news release stated.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine Aug. 23. Employees with a city Cigna plan can earn $25 in healthy awards funds.  Learn more here

The City Council approved the new incentive program, spearheaded by Mayor Sylvester Turner, in a 15-2 vote at its meeting Aug. 25.

“With the more contagious Delta variant rapidly spreading and cases surging, it is critically urgent that we vaccinate more people in our community,” Turner said. “It is in everyone’s best interest that all eligible Houstonians get vaccinated to save lives. If an incentive will motivate those who are not yet vaccinated to get their shots, it’s an investment that benefits everyone.”

Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer for the City of Houston, said the Delta Variant is different from the original virus because it is much more contagious. Even some vaccinated people have been infected. Although vaccinated people’s infections are generally much less severe, they can still spread it to others. 

“While this can seem discouraging, it’s important to remember the vaccines prevent almost everyone who gets a breakthrough infection from serious illness and death. Vaccines are the best tool to protect you and those around you,” he said.

Persse added it was vital that people get both doses of a two-dose series for the best protection.

“Full vaccination is extremely effective at preventing people from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19,” he said.

The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently authorized for people ages 18 and older, while Pfizer is approved for people ages 12 and older. Vaccination of minors requires parental consent forms, available at the clinics.

Getting vaccinated is free and does not require ID, proof of residency, citizenship, or insurance.

Houston Health Department-affiliated COVID-19 vaccination sites are available with or without appointments. Locations are available at HoustonEmergency.org or by calling 832-393-4220.

Take Your Best Shot Image

The Houston Health Department will provide up to $150 in gift cards to those who get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Those who get a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at an eligible HHD site will receive a $100 gift card. Gift cards valued at $50 will be awarded with second doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine administered at eligible Health Department sites. To qualify for the second dose incentive, people must have received their first dose on or after Aug. 2, 2021, at an eligible Health Department site and complete the series within 42 days.

The Houston City Council approved the new incentive program, spearheaded by Mayor Sylvester Turner, on Aug. 25. The Mastercard gift cards issued for first doses are redeemable anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Most second-dose participants will receive a Mastercard gift card, but some will receive gift cards for Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Ross, Amazon, Shell, Walgreens or METRO.

The new incentive program is funded by $3.125 million from the American Rescue Plan Act and will provide $150 worth of Mastercard gift cards to the first 20,000 people who get fully vaccinated.

This incentive program is in addition to the opportunity for COH employees who have a Cigna health plan to earn $25 in healthy awards funds.

See how to receive the $25 credit in your Healthy Awards Health Reimbursement Account and Wellness credit here: http://www.houstontx.gov/hr/benefits/
wellness_campaign_shot.html
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WHERE TO GET THE VACCINE AND GIFT CARDS

Eligible clinic locations and hours of operation:

  • Acres Home Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery Road
    Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center, 3810 W. Fuqua St.
    Tuesdays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center, 1809 North Main St.
    Mondays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Magnolia Multi-Service Center, 7037 Capitol St.
    Thursdays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Northside Health Center, 8504 Schuller Road
    Mondays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Sharpstown Health Services, 6201 Bonhomme Road
    Mondays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Drive
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Sunnyside Health Center, 4605 Wilmington St.
    Mondays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

HHD may add more eligible vaccination sites.

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