City of Harlingen votes to offer $50 incentive to get vaccinated
Harlingen city commissioners on Wednesday night voted to offer a $50 incentive to those who are still holding out on getting their vaccine.
Those $50 will be available exclusively to those living in Cameron County who have not been vaccinated.
The program is similar to an incentive provided by county officials in the lower Valley geared for students.
This money, however, will be available to everyone who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine — including children 12 and older.
Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell said that both the hospitals and ICU’s in the city are completely full.
“Yes, everybody should get vaccinated,” Boswell said. “No, we shouldn’t have to pay a bounty, but if paying people to come out and get vaccinated will get a few more people vaccinated, that’s probably good for our community.”
The city also shared data showing that currently, COVID-19 cases are quite similar to where things were at last summer. The amount of children age 12 to 15 who are fully vaccinated is just a little over 50 percent.
Funding for this initiative is coming from the American Rescue Plan. A total of $100,000 was requested in order to make this happen. By that math, that means as many as 2,000 people will be able to be get those $50.
The incentive will be happening from now up until Oct. 31.
We’re told those getting their first shot may need to wait 48 hours after being vaccinated in order to get that money from the city of Harlingen. Proof of county residency will also be required.