ASHLAND -- The Ashland County Health Department is offering $50 Visa gift cards to people who get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The program started on Friday.
The health department acquired funding for this financial incentive from a COVID-19 grant (specifically a CO21 grant) through the Ohio Department of Health, health commissioner Vickie Taylor wrote in an email to Ashland Source.
“The funding will be determined on how many gift cards are given out,” Taylor stated.
Taylor wrote the health department seeking funding in advance to purchase the cards and will draw more if needed.
Gift cards will be distributed to people who receive their first vaccine dose at the health department or any public clinic that the health department hosts, Taylor reported.
The health department is not yet sure how long the offer will last.
“Currently it is set to expire the end of October but ODH may extend that date,” Taylor wrote. “We are not sure yet.”
The health department administers vaccines during all weekdays, with the exception of Tuesdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The average vaccination rate in Ashland County for those who have received their first dose is roughly 39%, according to data reported Sept. 17 by the Ohio Department of Health. The Ashland County vaccination rate for people who are fully vaccinated is about 35%, also as of Sept. 17.
Regarding Ohio at large, 49% of residents are fully vaccinated, and 53% have received at least one dose. Both the state and county vaccination rates lag behind the overall country rates.