RACINE, Wis. - City of Racine health officials say roughly 40% of those eligible have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
For the rest, Wednesday, Aug. 18 was the first day of a new program to reward Racine residents who get the shot.
"We still have 60% of the eligible population in the city of Racine that are unvaccinated for COVID-19," said Dottie-Kay Bowersox, Racine public health administrator.
For Racine, the coronavirus is a major problem.
"If I take a look at the numbers here in the city of Racine, we’re very close to the numbers that we were last year at the same time. After Labor Day is when our numbers started to increase," Bowersox said.
Trying to combat the rise in cases, city leaders have followed suit in what is becoming a popular approach to encourage vaccinations.
"It’s a $50 gift card that city residents will get for each shot. So if it’s a two-shot vaccination you’ll get $50 for each shot, so $100 total if you’re fully vaccinated," Racine Mayor Cory Mason said.
The money is coming from federal pandemic relief funds.
"We have a variety of options that people can use. Whether it’s a gas card, a grocery card or a big box store card," said Mason. "People will have their options of which gift card they want, but it does create a number of options for people."
For those who are already vaccinated, there is a chance to cash in, too.
"If you’ve already been vaccinated and want to know how you can participate in our incentive program; if you bring a friend or a family member who is a city resident to get vaccinated you will also get the $50 gift card incentives," Mason said.
How to get incentive
Racine's gift card incentive program is available at the following clinic sites:
- Racine Public Health Department’s vaccine clinic at City Hall; appointments can be made online atracinepublichealth.as.me/schedule.php; walk-ins are allowed every Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- AMI Health vaccine clinic at Regency Mall; walk-in hours on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- City or AMI Health’s supported pop-up clinics throughout the community; a list of those pop-up clinics can be found at vaccinateracine.org
City residents looking to get vaccinated and Good Neighbors will need to verify their addresses with clinic support staff and fill out an entry form to receive the gift card incentive. Should a clinic run out of gift card stock, the entry forms will be used to contact and deliver gift cards at a later date.
The gift card incentive program goes into effect on Aug. 18, and will be in place as long as gifts cards are available.
For more information about the location of eligible clinics and the gift card incentive program visit vaccinateracine.org.