Starting Sept. 24, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District will offer a $100 H-E-B gift card to San Antonio and Bexar County residents in a continuing effort to increase the number of COVID-19 vaccinations.

City officials said there is a need to get more local residents fully vaccinated, especially given a recent surge in infections caused by the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.

More than 1.22 million local people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to city officials in a Sept. 23 briefing. But about 1.48 million locals, to date, have gotten the first dose. Metro Health recorded 571 new positive infection cases between Sept. 21-23.

“We hope that individuals who are still not vaccinated will take advantage of this incentive because it will take all of us getting vaccinated to end this pandemic,” Metro Health Director Claude Jacob said in a press release.

“Our COVID[-19] vaccines can help prevent someone from getting and spreading the virus to others, and they can prevent serious illness or hospitalization.”

Gift cards will be given to anyone who gets either the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at any Metro Health vaccine site while supplies last.

Metro Health continues to offer pop-up vaccine clinics across Bexar County. One area clinic will be held form 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 30 at Coker United Methodist Church, 231 E. North Loop Road, where the Pfizer vaccine will be available. People can also get vaccinated at the Alamodome drive-thru clinic, 100 Montana St., from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. No appointment is necessary.

Individuals already fully vaccinated are not eligible for the gift card. People receiving a third vaccine dose because of moderate to severe immunosuppression are ineligible for the incentive.

There are no age limits for the incentive, but children ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive a gift card.

No ID is required, but individuals are asked to bring their COVID-19 immunization card. They will also be asked to fill out a form including a date they received their vaccine and the type of COVID-19 vaccine received.

The H-E-B gift cards cannot be used to purchased alcohol or tobacco products.

According to Metro Health officials, H-E-B was chosen for a gift card incentive because of the grocer chain’s familiarity and accessibility among residents, particularly underserved and high-risk individuals.

Earlier in September, City Council approved the purchase of 10,000 gift cards from H-E-B for $1 million to use federal monies from the Immunizations COVID-19 Round 4 Grant Fund.

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