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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

NC To Offer $25 Gift Cards At Certain COVID Vaccine Clinics

COVID-19 vaccine
Courtesy Atrium Health
A health care worker with Atrium Health gives a patient a COVID-19 vaccine dose.

People who get vaccinated for COVID-19 at certain locations in North Carolina will soon be eligible to receive a $25 gift card. Starting on Wednesday, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services will offer $25 gift credit cards at certain vaccine clinics in Guilford, Rowan, Mecklenburg and Rockingham counties.

Anyone 18 and older who receives a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is eligible for the incentive, the agency said in a news release Monday, along with anyone who drives someone to a location to receive a vaccine. Drivers can only receive one card per visit. The offer lasts until June 8. A list of vaccination locations that will be offering the cards is available on the departments website.

North Carolina Health and Human Services said that the incentive is designed to offset the costs of traveling or providing transportation to a vaccine appointment. The gift cards are provided by the State Employees’ Credit Union.

North Carolina’s vaccination rate has slowed in recent weeks. As of Thursday, roughly 52% of adults in the state had received at least one dose. The percentage of the state’s total population that had received a vaccine as of Thursday was 42%.

Across the state, businesses and organizations are using a variety of strategies to encourage people to get vaccinated. Some Charlotte breweries have teamed up with health care providers to offer vaccines onsite with a free drink for anyone who receives a shot. The North Carolina Zoo gave a free ticket to the zoo to anyone who got vaccinated at its event.

Several other states have begun offering incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine implemented a $1 million dollar lottery. In West Virginia, people ages 16 to 35 who receive shots are eligible for a $100 savings bond. A free pound of crawfish, free pizza and free french fries are among the incentives in other states.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.