AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Public Health is offering H-E-B gift cards to entice the “moveable middle” to get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a memo sent to Austin city leaders.
Using anecdotal and statistical evidence across the country, the memo says incentive programs help increase vaccine rates. APH will offer $100 in H-E-B gift cards, or $50 at each round, for receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at an APH event and completing two exit surveys.
In the memo, APH says it believes most in the community who wanted to get the vaccine have already done so. The health authority hopes this incentive will get the “moveable middle” motivated to “protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated.”
The memo cited Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s strategy to award five $1 million lottery prizes and five full college scholarships for vaccination as evidence to support a vaccination program. Vaccination rates increased by 28% in the first week of Ohio’s program. However, Gov. DeWine said “the impact went down after that second week.”
The memo says 27 other states offer incentive programs to increase vaccination rates.
Previously, APH partnered with Central Health (CH) to provide gift cards at vaccination events. CH will analyze the more than 1200 surveys, including non-APH events, to determine the effectiveness of the incentive.