ALBEMARLE — For the rest of the month, a first dose appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccine at the Stanly County Health Department will come with a $100 Summer Card.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced on Aug. 3 that anyone age 18 or older will receive a Prepaid Mastercard after receiving their first shot of the vaccine at a participating county health department during the promotional period.
The Summer Card program previously came with a $25 incentive; that amount will now be given to anyone who drives someone to a first dose appointment. According to NCDHHS guidelines, there is not a limit on the amount of times someone can transport people to a vaccination but a driver will only receive one card per visit.
“Getting vaccinated provides protection from COVID-19 which may cause severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Rigorous clinical trials have proven that the vaccines are safe and effective with more than 165 million people in the U.S. who have been safely vaccinated,” David Jenkins, director of the Stanly County Health Department, wrote in an Aug. 3 press release.
The current vaccination rate for the county is at 35 percent for first dose appointments and 33 percent for full vaccinations — appointments at the health department can be scheduled by calling the 980-323-0205 hotline or by visiting http://book.novelhealth.ai/stanly.
“As the more contagious Delta variant of the virus is spreading across the country—mostly through unvaccinated people—it’s critical that North Carolinians get vaccinated now. Remember, COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and effective. COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available for anyone age 12 or older,” Jenkins continued.
As of the latest COVID-19 numbers released by the health department on Aug. 4, Stanly County has reached a total of 8,217 total cases and 144 deaths during the pandemic; there were 31 new cases and 12 active hospitalizations recorded that day.