Harris County

Harris County Judge Announces Cash Payment for Those Who Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

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Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Tuesday the county will pay $100 to any person who gets their first COVID-19 vaccine at a Harris County Public Health site by Aug. 31.

Hidalgo said there are no strings attached and that as soon as a person gets the first shot they'll receive their payment via a bank card.

The vaccine is free and Hidalgo said the county is even arranging free transportation to one of the county's 10 vaccine sites.

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In a statement the judge's office said Tuesday, "Over the past several months, the delta variant of COVID-19 has spread quickly across Harris County, straining hospital systems and disproportionately impacting unvaccinated residents. Over 98% of people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in the Harris Health System have not been vaccinated."

Along with Hidalgo, expected to speak Tuesday are:  Al Green, U.S. Representative, District 9;  Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, President and CEO, Harris Health; Dr. Janeana White, Local Health Authority for Harris County.

Many states have offered monetary payouts as an incentive to residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine. While he has encouraged vaccines and hasn't forbidden incentives to get them, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said in June that "we don't believe in using monetary inducements in the state of Texas" to get people to get the vaccine and instead said it should simply be a person's choice.

Hidalgo said the county has invested $2.3 million in the program and that the money for the program is coming from funds received through the American Rescue Plan.

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