KEY POINTS

  • A Mississippi health center gave out $50 gift cards to those who received their first, second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • The initiative was done in partnership with the state's health department
  • The organizers of the vaccination drive urged people to take advantage of the vaccine to end the pandemic

A health center in Madison County, Mississippi, incentivized COVID-19 vaccination by offering gift cards to people who got jabbed during a vaccine clinic it hosted over the weekend.

Patients aged 5 and older who received their first, second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the G.A. Carmichael Family Health Center in Canton Saturday received a $50 gift card with their shots, WJTV 12 reported.

The nonprofit center, which partnered with Mississippi's Department of Health to give away gift cards, attracted a long line for its weekend vaccine clinic due to the incentive, a report by WLBT 3 said.

"I think a lot of them have been incentivized by the $50 gift card. That just gave them the extra boost to come on out," Yvette McLaurin, a family nurse practitioner, was quoted as saying.

The organizers of the vaccination drive urged people to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine to help end the pandemic.

"The thing about omicron is that anybody can catch it and it’s easily able to be caught. What we want to do is prevent people from being hospitalized and you can only do that by being vaccinated," Chief Program Officer Joshua Knox explained.

The G.A. Carmichael Family Health Center is open every day for coronavirus vaccinations.

In a similar attempt to get more people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, an insurance company in Kentucky offered $100 gift cards for Walmart or CVS to those who got jabbed within the latter half of last year.

Fully vaccinated residents of Bexar County and San Antonio in Texas were also offered $100 gift cards for the supermarket H-E-B starting September 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that the coronavirus vaccines are "safe and effective."

While breakthrough infections, or fully vaccinated individuals becoming infected with the coronavirus, are still "expected," those who have received their full doses are still "less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get [the virus]," the agency said.

The U.S. has reported a total of 70,206,220 COVID-19 cases and 862,494 virus-related deaths thus far, according to data provided by the CDC.

person-5441453_1920 Representation. Organizers of the vaccine clinic that gave out $50 gift cards to those who got jabbed urged peopled to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine to help end the virus. Photo: Pixabay