By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department is offering a new COVID vaccine incentive to help increase Wyoming’s low vaccination numbers as cases continue to rise across the state.
The first 500 people who get their first dose of one of the three available COVID vaccines at the department beginning Monday will be eligible for a $100 gift card.
“Going back to school was expensive. Let us help!” a flyer by the health department said. “Get fully vaccinated and receive a gift card.”
Those who get the vaccine will have to either complete the two-dose series of vaccinations through Pfizer or Moderna or receive the one-shot vaccine made by Johnson and Johnson.
This is the second time the department has offered a vaccine incentive program. Earlier in the summer, it offered tickets to a Cheyenne Frontier Days night concert to a person who got vaccinated.
Just under 36% of the state is fully vaccinated, around 207,800 residents, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. The national average for full vaccination was 54% as of Sunday.
Laramie County’s vaccination numbers are on track with the rest of the state, with around 38% of the county being vaccinated, amounting to 37,725 residents.
The state has received 545,775 doses of the COVID vaccines (267,135 of the Pfizer vaccine, 250,340 of the Moderna vaccine and 28,300 of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine). In total, 446,392 doses have been administered across the state.
As of Friday, Laramie County had 391 active COVID cases. Cheyenne also has a high rate of COVID hospitalizations, with 50 patients hospitalized due to the virus as of Friday, according to the Wyoming hospitalization tracker.
Other businesses and organizations across the state have implemented vaccine incentive programs. For example, Laramie County School District No. 1 officials offered a one-time incentive of $500 to those who are already fully vaccinated or are willing to undergo bi-monthly COVID tests.
The city of Cheyenne and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center have also offered extra paid time off or cash for employees who get vaccinated.