ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – There is a new push to try to increase COVID-19 vaccination numbers in St. Louis County and it includes incentives.
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page and County Councilwoman Shalonda Webb released details this morning. The new incentive program will begin Saturday.
Starting on Saturday, any St. Louis County resident who gets a COVID-19 shot at a county-sponsored vaccination event can enroll in a gift card program.
Once individuals complete the vaccination process, the county will mail a $100 Schnucks gift card and a $50 QT gas card to their home. To qualify, a person must live in St. Louis County, be 12 years of age or older, and get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at a St. Louis County Department of Public Health vaccination event.
Gift cards will not be handed out at vaccination events, instead, they will be sent via certified mail to the address provided by people when they register at a vaccine site.
The gift cards will be mailed out as soon as the health department confirms that people are vaccinated. Each person is limited to one gas card and one grocery card and the gift cards will only be available while supplies last. The county has funding to award gift cards to about 5,000 people.
“I think it’s critical because it’s actually going to help the residents throughout the county. Whether it’s a grocery card and a gas card, this all helps with all of the struggles that’s been happening throughout this pandemic. I think it’s like any other incentive program that’s been happening locally, by the state, or federally you see that people respond,” said Webb.
Councilwoman Webb said she’s been knocking on doors for the last 5 weeks, talking to residents about getting vaccinated.
“I’ve even had them initiate to me, what happened to the incentive program. I’ve always had to say, it’s in the works, it is coming, they are working on it. Now, it is here and I know there are residents in that particular community that are looking for the vaccination incentive gift card program,” said Webb.
Both Page and Webb have been outspoken about trying to increase vaccination numbers in the county. Legislation for the program was introduced by Webb and approved by the County Council in June. It took until now to get all of the details worked out.
Page added, “This is an important program because we know that vaccines are our best tool to fight the pandemic and return to normal. Vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Now, county residents will have even more reasons to get vaccinated.”
One focus has been on the north county area which Webb represents and where vaccination numbers have been lower than in other parts of the county. County leaders have also spoken about using Federal COVID relief money to help fund vaccine incentive programs in the area.
Statewide, 53 percent of Missourians have initiated the COVID vaccination process. 47 percent have completed it. The numbers are higher in St. Louis County with 58 percent of St. Louis County residents starting the vaccination process while nearly 52 percent have completed it. In St. Louis City, more than 53 percent of residents have initiated the COVID vaccination process while over 46 percent have completed it.
In St. Charles County, just over 56 percent of residents have started to get vaccinated while over 51.5 percent of residents have finished the process. Jefferson County has the same numbers as St. Louis City with just over 53 percent of residents having started the process while more than 46 percent of residents have finished it. In Franklin County, a little more than 48 percent of residents have initiated the COVID vaccination process while 44 percent have completed it.
Click here to find a county-sponsored vaccination event.