Tarrant County

Tarrant County Judge Suggests Paying People $50 to Get COVID-19 Shot

Money would come from federal funds county has received

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Frustrated by a shortage of people signing up to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley is tossing around an idea: paying people $50 to get the shot.

He would also give $50 to those who have already received the vaccine.

"I don't think we need to reward those people who waited and dragged their feet and not reward those who were first up and doing everything we could to get to herd immunity,” Whitley said.

Whitley said he still needs to make sure it's even legal.

Other commissioners would have to approve.

And then there's the logistics.

"We've got 2.1 million people in Tarrant County. I don't know if the [U.S.] Treasury has 2.1 million $50 bills,” Whitley said. “Do we go to VISA and say we want a debit card? I want to make it as easy as possible."

The money would come from federal funds the county has received for COVID relief.

Whitley said he got the idea from seeing news reports about West Virginia, where the governor announced plans to give $100 savings bonds to young people.

"I just want to get people vaccinated,” he said. “I'm as tired of these masks as anybody. I'm ready to get back to normal."

He predicted the chances of the payments happening are maybe 50-50.

"It's easy to think about,” he said. “But the devil is in the details."

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