COVID-19 Vaccine Summer Card Incentive Pays Off, Expands to Cape Fear

COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: U.S. Air National Guard / Jacqueline Marshall)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is expanding the number of locations providing $25 Summer Cards to offset the time and transportation costs of getting vaccinated.

Beginning this week, participating vaccination sites in 38 counties will offer the cards to anyone 18 and older who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — or drives someone to their vaccination.

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The expansion builds on the success of the pilot program launched in May in four counties (Mecklenburg, Guilford, Rowan and Rockingham), which distributed 1,700 Summer Cards to vaccine recipients and more than 700 cards to drivers.

More than 40% of people surveyed at pilot locations said having someone to drive them was a very important reason they got vaccinated at a Summer Card event, and a quarter of people surveyed said the Summer Card was a very important motivation for getting vaccinated that day.

“Some people need help covering the cost of taking time away from work and for transportation, and the Summer Cards are one way to help. What’s really exciting is that we saw some people who received their first dose at a Summer Card event then drove others to help them get their vaccine,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

Getting a vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves from COVID-19. Rigorous clinical trials among thousands of people ages 12 and up have proven the vaccines are safe and effective against all circulating variants. More than 140 million Americans have now been safely vaccinated and protected from serious illness and virus-related hospitalization and death.

The $25 Summer Card program is available at participating vaccination sites in the following counties: Alleghany, Ashe, Beaufort, Bertie, Buncombe, Caswell, Cleveland, Cumberland, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gaston, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Hertford, Jackson, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, New Hanover, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Wake, Watauga, Wayne and Wilson. Those interested in the program can visit or call 888-675-4567 to find a participating location.

The Summer Card is just one of a few incentives offered this summer. The Summer Cash and Cash 4 College drawings are another way North Carolinians who get vaccinated are rewarded. Learn more about the Summer Card and Summer Cash Drawings at