Sedgwick County prepares to end COVID-19 vaccine incentive clinics

Time is running out for Sedgwick County's offering of cash incentives for getting COVID-19 vaccine
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 7:56 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Since updated COVID-19 booster shots arrived in Sedgwick County two weeks ago, the county has administered more than 500 doses. For those looking to take advantage of monetary incentives for COVID vaccinations, time is running out in Sedgwick County.

Sedgwick County hosted an inventive clinic Monday at the Walters Library in southeast Wichita. Each participant received $70 in gift cards for getting either their first shots or the updated booster. Opportunities like this won’t be offered much longer.

“(We) really decided to do this because we knew there were some people that were on the fence,” Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne said.

Since last year, Sedgwick County reports administering more than 4,800 gift cards at its 53 incentive clinics. Nearly 5,200 COVID-vaccine doses were administered during those clinics. Byrne said non-incentive clinics average 17 vaccine recipients, compared to nearly 100 for incentive clinics.

“We’ve given over $218,000 worth of incentives out,” Byrne said. “When you think about the cost of someone being in the ICU or being on ventilators, it’s a drop in the bucket.”

While the incentive clinics are going away, Byrne said COVID-19 remains in the community and with flu season coming, she advises people to get a booster.

“Anyone that has had COVID, it’s just recommended you wait about three months before getting the booster. I will get it because I don’t ant to get COVID again,” Byrne said.

Sedgwick County’s last incentive clinic is set for 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 at the Salvation Army building at 350 North Market. Those receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will receive a $35 gift card. Those planning to receive a shot at the clinic don’t need to make an appointment.