NCDHHS: Vaccine cash incentives boosting COVID-19 vaccination rates in some communities

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina is already seeing a return on their investment in the $25 summer cash card program for people who get the COVID-19 vaccinate or drive someone else to get their first shot.

In the pilot program launched last month in Guilford, Rowan, Mecklenburg and Rockingham counties, the state distributed 1,700 summer cash cards to vaccine recipients and more than 700 cards to drivers.

State leaders believe this, combined with the vaccine lottery drawing and President Biden’s scheduled trip to Raleigh Thursday to encourage vaccinations, will help boost shots.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Hispanic people make up 13 percent of the more than 70,000 shots given by North Carolina providers since the lottery was announced two weeks ago. Black people make up 35 percent of the 70,000 shots given by North Carolina providers over the same timeframe. Those rates are nearly double what they had been overall for both groups.

Some people who still aren’t vaccinated say it’s a big decision that will take more than a lottery or $25 to go through with.

“I mean the $25 is a nice start, but they should give more, in my opinion. I need more people to do it before I would say, ‘OK, I feel like it’s safe,'” said Raleigh resident Eran Hersey.

Others who have been vaccinated think every effort helps.

“We should encourage people to get vaccines. I think it will encourage people who were a little bit doubtful about getting it or not, so I think it’s good for everyone,” said Rifat Hasan, of Raleigh.

Wake County will be providing summer cards at select locations beginning Friday. For participating locations near you visit

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