Education

Nash County hopes to give $100 to vaccinated students

Posted September 20, 2021 7:40 p.m. EDT

— Nash County is moving forward with a plan to start giving out $100 vaccine incentives directly to children ages 12 and older.

County leaders believe its the first plan of its kind in the state, and they’re hoping it could help keep schools from shutting their doors due to COVID-19.

“Our county is very adamant about getting as many people in Nash County the vaccine as we can,” said Nash County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robbie Davis.

On Monday, the Nash County Board of Commissioners approved a preliminary plan for how to use more than $18.3 million the county received from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, dividing the money across nine different categories. One category would authorize $860,000 to give vaccine incentives to children.

“What we are proposing to the board is, it would be $100 per student, and the desire of … the two commissioners on the committee, is to give it directly to the students if it legally can be done,” Davis said.

The incentives would be available in the form of a gift card for children ages 12 and older who get their first and second shots.

Davis said he believed Nash County would be the first in the state to give vaccine incentives to students as an effort to minimize COVID-19 in county schools, which saw 130 students test positive last week and 199 already in quarantine.

“We all realize throughout the state that we, for lack of a better word, may have wasted a year in school,” Davis said. “And we certainly don’t want to see that happen again.”

Davis told WRAL News that while the county set aside the funding for the incentives, the details of the plan would still need to be approved by the Nash County school board.

The chairman hoped that board would sign on to an effort he felt would keep kids in the classroom.

“They would be the ones that are actually initiating the program, and so we’ve got some work to do with our school board,” Davis said.

A spokesperson for Nash County Public Schools said the district has been working with the county on the vaccine incentive program, and they support issuing the payments to students.

A meeting between Nash County and the school district on vaccine incentives is set for later this week. ​

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