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St. Louis rolls out COVID-19 vaccine incentive program

The first vaccination clinics where people can get gift cards through the city’s incentive program are planned for this weekend

ST. LOUIS — Getting a COVID-19 vaccine in the City of St. Louis now comes with a perk, in addition to protection against the virus.

The St. Louis Department of Health is rolling out its gift card incentive program in an effort to get more people to roll up their sleeves.

Those who get vaccinated at health department clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) will receive Commerce Bank and US Bank cards that are valued at $100, the city confirmed with 5 On Your Side.

"Offering incentives is one way to encourage individuals to get vaccinated, especially those who are still undecided, and the health department's highest priority is to ensure people have accurate information so they can make informed decisions about their health," said Acting Health Director Dr. Fredrick Echols in an emailed news release.

The first vaccination clinics where people can get gift cards through the city’s incentive program are planned for this weekend.

September 25
9 a.m.-3 p.m.
12th and Park Recreation Center
1410 S. Tucker Boulevard

September 27
9 a.m.-noon
Salvation Army Midtown
2900 Washington Avenue

September 28
9 a.m.-noon
Salvation Army Midtown
2900 Washington Avenue

The city will continue to add more vaccine clinics that are eligible for the incentive program. Visit the city health department’s website or call 314-657-1499 for the latest updates.

There is $1.25 million set aside for the city’s gift card incentive program, which comes out of the $135 million St. Louis received in American Rescue Plan dollars.

Echols said he is hoping this push gets more people vaccinated before flu season arrives. Residents said they are hopeful it helps more people protect themselves.

"Vaccination isn't about who deserves what," Emily Hubbard of St. Louis said. "This is a matter of public health. However anyone gets vaccinated, whether they get bothered by their family until they go. Or they go because they get money for it. Everyone who gets vaccinated is one less person who can get (sick)"

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services dashboard shows as of Thursday morning 53.4% of city residents have started the COVID-19 vaccination process and 46.4% are fully vaccinated. The city’s jurisdiction is the sixth most fully vaccinated in the state, following behind Joplin, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Boone County and Atchison County.

St. Louis County announced details on its new incentive program Wednesday.

The county is giving away $100 grocery gift cards and $50 gas gift cards to people who get both doses of the vaccine on or after Saturday, Sept. 25.

To qualify to win the gift cards, you have to live in St. Louis County, be 12 years or older and get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at a Department of Public Health (DPH) vaccination event. That means you have to get both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna, or one shot of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at an approved site.

The cards will actually be mailed to you by the county using the address you give at the vaccine event, so make sure you can be reached at that address. The cards will only be mailed out once DPH confirms you’ve been fully vaccinated.

READ MORE: St. Louis County offering gift cards for groceries, gas to residents who get fully vaccinated