Breaking News
More () »

Harris County's $100 COVID-19 vaccine incentive ends this week

The vaccine incentive program is set to end on Sept. 30.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Harris County's COVID-19 vaccine incentive program ends Thursday.

That means there are only three days left to get paid for getting your first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

RELATED: List of locations where you can get up to $150 in gift cards for getting COVID vaccine

"The numbers are undeniable," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

It's been six weeks since the county offered to pay people $100 for taking the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

It's simple -- get the shot and you get a $100 cash card.

"If that's what it takes, that's great. It's the easiest $100 you'll ever make and I'm good with that," Hidalgo said.

Marcelino Benito on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Since Aug. 17, more than 65,000 people have participated in the incentive program. That's more than $6.5 million in cash cards.

"It's been so successful, we've gotten other jurisdictions calling us looking to replicate it," Hidalgo said.

Before the incentive program started, only 46% of eligible residents in Harris County were fully vaccinated. Forty-one days later, 64% of those 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

"Clearly we've seen some gains," Dr. Peter Hotez said.

Hotez said it's significant, but there's still work to do.

"We're not even close," Hotez said.

He believes the incentive is one of two big factors that may have fueled the vaccination increase locally.

"People are waking up to the fact that COVID is not a hoax," Hotez said. "It's real and vaccines can save your life."

So with three days left until the $100 incentive ends, Hidalgo and county health officials want to spread the word. Now's the time to roll up your sleeves and still cash in.

"What I hope we'll see is that we'll see another bump in participating in the next few days that are left," Hidalgo said.

The real challenge though will come starting Friday when the money's off the table. Local leaders want to ensure vaccination rates don't drop off again.

For more information on the vaccine incentive program, click here.