Featured Stories

Palm Beach County considering incentives to encourage more people to get vaccinated

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Moderna Vaccine
Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

Palm Beach County is in the process of possibly giving out incentives to motivate more people to get vaccinated.

Most people love a gift with purpose and intention; therefore, this enticement could be exactly what’s needed to coax those who are unsure about the vaccine to roll up their sleeve.

More than 5 million Florida residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

With most area mass vaccination sites slated to close in the coming weeks, due to a drop in demand according to health officials.

As a result, Palm Beach County health officials are considering incentives for those debating whether or not to get the shot. At the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center on Wednesday, lines and wait times were short for those getting the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

“We are going gangbusters, but now the demand has really fallen off, “said infectious disease specialist Dr. David Dodson. Dodson is concerned the pace of vaccination is falling off too quickly.

The mass vaccination sites in Palm Beach County will shut down by the end of May. Another mass vaccine site in Indian River County will wrap up Friday.

Those closures are earlier than Dodson and other health experts expected.

“The people who are hesitant to get vaccines, those are becoming more common, and without their help, we’re not going to reach a herd immunity number, ” Dodson.

A few of the incentives ideas are food trucks to lure younger people to vaccination sites, Publix gift cards and adding to commissary budgets of inmates in the county jail who have been reluctant to get their shots.

“They may be leaving jail soon, so if we can give them a gift card or whatever it may be, “Kerner said. “These are the strategies we’re looking at right now.

Kerner expects to announce vaccine incentives next week.

A few local businesses are offering time off and gift cards to their worker for shots.

It’s always the last mile, the last person. That’s the most challenging, “Kerner said.