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Money could become a new incentive for individuals to get vaccinated

Here in Nueces County 45 percent of individuals are fully vaccinated and 55 percent have had at least one dose.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Some have questioned whether it is time for Nueces County and the City of Corpus Christi to start offering people money for vaccinations.

The City of Houston and Harris County have both decided to use federal funds through the American Rescue Plan to pay people there to get vaccinated. 

Here in Nueces County 45 percent of individuals are fully vaccinated and 55 percent have had at least one dose. 

Health District Director Annette Rodriguez is looking forward to the proposed idea.  

"I am not sure where Houston got their funds or if they got their funds from a private organization, but yes, I've been wanting to do that for a long time or some type of lottery," Rodriguez said.

Houston is using slightly over $3 million of those federal funds to provide $150 worth of cash cards to 20,000 people who get fully vaccinated.

"I would think that it would be feasible for us to do it," said Rodriguez. "I just don't know the mechanism of how they did it, so we need to figure that out so we can do the same thing here."

Joseph Wright was getting his first vaccine shot at the mall because he was worried about Delta plus. Wright said money would not have gotten him here any sooner.

"We're doing it for health," Wright said. "We just don't want to get the money from the budget and go around giving people money for something they know they need to do."

However, Wright was not alone in this belief. Sylvia Gutierrez received her booster shot and said she was not interested in receiving payment.

"I don't need their money I just need to be safe," Gutierrez said. "I have a granddaughter and I want to be around to see her."

However, Rodriguez believes that some kind of incentive could go a long way towards ensuring that people are vaccinated.