Why more people are getting their first dose of the COVID vaccine in Forsyth County


FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Get a $100 gift card for getting the vaccine.

That’s what health experts in Forsyth County are saying is helping to increase vaccine rates.

As of now, because of the high demand, many participating counties in the state have had runs on those cards.

FOX8 spoke to people who say they came out mainly because employers are mandating vaccinations, travel reasons, the surge of the delta variant, and the $100 incentive.

Joe Wilson walked into the Forsyth County Department of Public Health Thursday afternoon to get his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I wanted to wait to see what the drug company was putting out, and I was in no rush,” Wilson said.

He says now that cases are surging again, he knew it was time to roll up his sleeve.

“As of right now the pandemic is getting bad, and I needed a shot,” Wilson said.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health, like many other counties in the state, offered the $100 gift cards for anyone getting their first dose. Wednesday, they announced about 300 people showed up to get their first dose, causing them to run out.

“Today we have seen 40-50 people. Sort of a typical day. A little higher than normal, before we had gift cards. I think it’s creating awareness and people are concerned about the delta variant,” said Joshua Swift, Forsyth County health director.

Including Leah Clay, who is about to begin school this fall.

“I know they ran out of cards, but I wanted to go ahead take safety measures and go ahead and get it anyway,” she said. “I didn’t want to catch anything. I have actually had it before, and I don’t want to get it a second time. It seems like it’s getting worse,” Clay said.

More than 61 percent of North Carolina adults ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but those who are unvaccinated run a higher risk of catching the virus.

“Think of the benefit of the vaccine, the protection, because if you got sick with COVID, the work you will miss, doctor visits, and possible hospitalization means a lot more than the $100,” Swift said.

“I was going to come out because my health is more important to me than anything. I wish everyone else to get the shot too. No matter what they say, it’s saving lives,” Wilson said.

Swift tells FOX8 they plan to have gift cards back in by next week.

Guilford County will begin giving out their $100 gift cards Saturday, Aug. 7,

Randolph County gives theirs out on Thursdays.

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