Long County vaccine clinic offering $100 incentive

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 6:11 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:11 PM EDT
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LUDOWICI, Ga. (WTOC) - Vaccination rates across the Coastal Health District are slowly increasing, but COVID case numbers in the past few weeks are trending down.

Dr. Lawton Davis from the Coastal Health District says numbers are going down because we are getting close to reaching some kind of herd immunity, but close to 35 percent of people that actually get COVID-19 do not develop an immune response to the virus, which is why they are still encouraging vaccination to get those antibodies.

For the first time, on Thursday, the Coastal Health District will be offering $100 visa gift cards for vaccinations only in Long County, which has 19 percent of their population fully vaccinated.

Participants got a $100 visa gift card for the Johnson and Johnson and $50 visa gift card for Moderna first dose and another $50 for the second dose in 4 weeks. The clinic was only for people 18 and older since they will not be offering the Pfizer vaccine. Dr. Davis says in the rural counties, it is easier to have Moderna and Johnson and Johnson for storing purposes and with less waste of the vaccine.

They were providing gift cards to the first 100 people that get their shot on Thursday of either vaccine.

“I would be happy if we got to be 50, I would be ecstatic if we got to 100 and anything about that not only great but Icing on the cake,” said Dr. Lawton Davis.

“I have a five-year-old son, and Liberty County School System is actually in school in person, and then I work at a personal care home,” said Antoinette Keyton who received her first shot.

District Nursing Director Angela Hartley says people of all ages from Long County and surrounding counties came out. Hartley says some were hesitant at first, like Antoinette Keyton.

But Keyton says she spent time looking at research from doctors and talking to people who already got the shot.

“I finally got to a comfortable point with myself and said ‘I’ll do that.’”

The $100 VISA gift card also brought people out to the health department, among other reasons.

“One family, a couple that came, we’re really interested in Johnson and Johnson vaccine and it’s a little bit harder to find and we’re offering that today,” said Hartley.

Long County’s Sheriff stopped by the event and tells WTOC there is vaccine hesitancy in the county, partly due to misinformation on the vaccine.

“I’d like to encourage people to speak to their physicians, talk with their physicians, and see what doctors and physicians tell them about the shot,” said Sheriff Craig Nobles.

If you or someone you know is interested in getting vaccinated, but missed Thursday’s clinic, Long County Health Department offers the vaccine every Monday and Thursday.

However, this was the only clinic offering the gift card incentive. The Coastal Health District is still deciding if this will be offered another time and in other counties.

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