Does Money Talk When it Comes to Getting COVID-19 Vaccine?

People lined up outside Mount Carmel High School in the Poway Unified School District to get the vaccine to protect against COVID-19

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Poway Unified School District hosted a vaccine clinic for students and people in the community at Mount Carmel High School Friday.

This is the first vaccine clinic in the district, and it comes one day after Governor Gavin Newsom announced cash prizes and gift cards as an incentive to motivate people to get the vaccine.

People lined up outside the school beginning at 10 a.m. Four hundred seventy-one people with appointments and 28 walk-ins got vaccinated.

Makenna Lara, a ninth grader in the district came with her mother, Dana Ponce.  They live right down the street, so convenience was a draw.

“It definitely helps to know I don’t have to go that far,” Lara said.

But would money motivate them to come out for the vaccine?

If they are among the first two million Californians to get their vaccine since the Governor announced the incentive program, they could get a $50 pre-paid gift card or grocery gift card. Those who plan to get vaccinated and those who already got vaccinated are eligible to enter two drawings to win $50,000 in cash. Ten lucky vaccinated Californians will get $1.5 million each.

“Whoever gets it is definitely blessed to get it,” said Dana Ponce about the prizes. "It still would not matter to me. We need to get the vaccine, point-blank.”

Ponce contracted COVID-19 on Christmas Day and had to be hospitalized. For her, money is not an incentive, COVID-19 is. 

“I wouldn't want that on anyone, It’s absolutely horrible.” She said. "You can’t put a price on life."

Her daughter Lara said, “As amazing as $1 million would be, it’s not going to change the way I view it.”

Contact Us