Mass vaccination site

Gwinnett County will offer $100 gift cards to anyone ages 12 and older who gets a COVID-19 vaccine shot during a two-day vaccination event the county will host on Friday and Saturday in partnership with the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale Health Departments at the old Sear location at Gwinnett Place Mall.

Gwinnett County officials are turning to incentives in an effort to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.

County officials will offer $100 Visa gift cards to people 12 and older who get a vaccine shot during the Vaccines Aren’t Scary event that is being staged in partnership with the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale Health Departments on Friday and Saturday at the mass vaccination site located in the former Sears store at Gwinnett Place Mall. The giveaways will last from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

The offer comes as county officials said the demand for vaccines in Gwinnett has slowed down.

“All of our residents are busy, some were waiting for more information and some simply haven’t gotten around to getting vaccinated yet,” said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson. “We’re giving residents another reason to get vaccinated now in the hopes that this is the little push some people need to go ahead and get their shot.”

As of Monday, 53% of Gwinnettians are fully vaccinated and 55% have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s vaccination dash board. State health officials said Gwinnett had 2,509 new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, with a two-week incidence rate of 258 new cases.

While the two-week incidence rate is down from the rate of 518 cases reported on Oct. 4, it’s also significantly higher than it was in early July when the rate each day were below 50 new cases over a two-week period.

“The only way out of this pandemic is through vaccination,” said Dr. Audrey Arona, who is the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale health district director. “We’re grateful to the County for providing incentives and hope this opportunity moves more of our community to choose to be vaccinated.”

The vaccine incentive gift cards are being paid for with federal funding that came to Gwinnett as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Anyone who wants a guarantee of getting a vaccination and a gift card should make an appointment at GCGA.us/VaccineIncentive by 9 a.m. Thursday for the Friday date, or by 9 a.m. on Friday for the Saturday date. The vaccination site only offers the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Residents should bring their insurance and identification cards if they have them, although county officials said they will not turn away people who have neither card. The vaccine is free for residents.

The Gwinnett Place Mall mass vaccination site is located at 2100 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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