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Columbus Public Health sees increase in daily COVID vaccines due to cash incentive program

Since the program to give residents a $100 gift card for getting a COVID-19 vaccine, the health department says daily vaccines have gone up to 300 shots a day.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Public Health is reporting an increase in daily vaccinations that may be tied to the $100 gift card offer for anyone who comes in to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Since the program started July 6, the health department says daily vaccines have gone from 97 shots per day to more than 300.

The daily average over the past 17 days is 259 shots.

People can earn another $100 through another vaccine program through the Columbus Urban League.

While money is a strong motivator for some, they still need to feel confident in the safety of the shot.

“Well I'm a transplant patient so I kind of wanted to see how things went before I decided to go ahead and do it”, Candy Polan said.

Monique Phillips and her son Ahmad came together to get their first vaccine.

Phillips said it took her a while to weed through all the information about the vaccine and find a source that she could trust.

She said her motivation to get the shot came in part because of the $100, but also because she wanted to protect a frail family member.

“When I saw with the delta variant and all the people hospitalized who are unvaccinated I got really concerned and we have a family member who has a chronic illness and he can't be around anyone who is sick so we are trying to protect us and him as well that put the fire under me to get the vaccine,” Phillips said.

For others, hesitancy didn’t come from reading misinformation online, rather getting over the fear of shots.

“We are kind of chickens with the needle,” Polan said.

The concerns over the shot mirror what a national study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found.

The national study found that concerns over side-effects is the top reason why the unvaccinated were against getting the vaccine.

You can read the report here.