Racine, WI – Incentives for the COVID vaccine are usually reserved for people yet to be vaccinated. In Racine, Wisconsin, the “Good Neighbor” program awards a $50 gift card to vaccinated city residents for every friend or family member they bring in to get vaccinated. This comes after the city’s Common Council recently approved allocating $600,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funding towards getting more residents vaccinated.
“Our vaccination rates continue to lag behind the rest of the state, and I’m grateful that the Council has approved this plan to provide gift card incentives,” Racine Mayor Cory Mason said.
Since the “Good Neighbor” program launched last week, city officials say some folks have been getting upwards of $300 in gift cards. Although the incentives only apply to Racine residents, there is no limit to how many people someone can bring in for the first dose. There is no incentive for bringing someone in for a second dose.
All Racine residents, ages 12 and older, are eligible to receive gift cards. Unvaccinated residents will receive a $50 gift card for their first dose and another $50 gift card after receiving the second dose. If they receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they will receive two $50 gift cards. Residents, ages 12 to 18, will need permission from their parents before they can receive the vaccine.
People will have a choice of gift cards from Visa, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Piggly Wiggly, or Aldi. City officials say gift cards for BP and Citgo may become available in the near future, depending on availability through gift card fundraiser ShopWithScrip.
“I hope these incentives will encourage more of our residents to get vaccinated quickly,” Racine Mayor Cory Mason said. “Help us protect our friends and loved ones from getting sick or dying.”
In order to receive the gift card incentives, residents must be prepared to verify their address to clinic support staff at the following locations:
- Regency Mall AMI clinic, with walk-in hours on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. -7 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- City Hall. Make an appointment online or walk-in every Thursday between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- List of pop-up clinics
Healthcare professionals say now is the time to act.
“The delta variant is real, spreading fast, and vaccines save lives,” Black Nurses Association President Joyce Wadlington said. “I know there’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of concern and a lot of reasons people are saying ‘Well I’m just going to wait and see.’ The challenge with ‘wait and see’ is that Black and brown people are more likely to die from COVID.”
The incentive program is set to continue as long as the gift cards are available.