KATY, Texas - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced on Tuesday that the county is now offering a $100 incentive for those unvaccinated to get a COVID-19 shot.
The announcement comes as the greater Houston area is seeing its highest number of hospitalization since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the county health department, the percentage of the population in the county fully vaccinated, all ages, is at 46.8%. And in an effort to increase that percentage, the county judge has started the new incentive.
"Just today, we learned that there are more patients in the greater Houston region than in any previous point in this pandemic, our hospitals are strained to their breaking point," said Hidalgo.
The Harris County Health Department, in conjunction with the Houston Health Department, broke down active cases by zip code. The Katy area is at the top of that list with 1,202 active cases, followed by Cypress.
FOX 26 caught up with several Katy residents at Fry Road Park to discuss the findings.
"That’s surprising in, didn’t know that that was the highest one, that’s kind of scary," said Katy Resident, Antonia Maureira.
For some residents, the new incentive is a draw, but for others, it has them reconsidering.
"I can buy a lot of things but I’m sticking to my thing, I feel safe and young, so I’m not going to do it," said Katy resident, Totorian Vons.
They are some stipulations with the new incentive, which includes where they are received. The shots have to be received at one of the 10 Harris County vaccination sites and it must be your first-ever Covid-19 vaccine.
Hidalgo also said those who arrive will have to answer specific questions, reminding residents there is a penalty for lying on government forms.
She says no insurance is needed at these sites and they are encouraging people to to pre-register.
The money will come in the form of a cash card and the new program will end on August 31.