North Oaks Foundation offering cash incentives for recipients of COVID-19 vaccine
HAMMOND, La. (WVUE) - Residents on the Northshore can now earn some extra cash to put in their pockets if they get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The North Oaks Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 2015 to support the North Oaks Health System of Hammond, announced a partnership with the Enmon family of Jani-King Gulf Coast, headquartered in Ponchatoula to offer a $100 cash incentive to the first 100 people that register and receive the Pfizer two-dose vaccine.
“Our goal is to make a difference and save lives, and if this incentive gives unvaccinated people ‘on the fence’ the extra support they need to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, then it’s worth it,” Enmon explains.
The $100 cash incentive is the brainchild of Ponchatoula businessman Tom Enmon and is being made possible through his $5,000 gift and a $5,000 matching gift from Jani-King Gulf Coast, according to North Oaks Foundation Director Staci Arceneaux. “COVID 100” is an effort that Enmon hopes will catch on and help turn the tide of Louisiana and the Northshore’s low vaccination rate in the face of rising COVID-19 hospitalizations of unvaccinated individuals.
According to CDC and Louisiana Department of Health data on Monday morning, the state vaccination rate is the fifth-lowest in the U.S. at 36.1%, with only about one-third of the Northshore region fully vaccinated. Tangipahoa Parish is lagging behind as the least-vaccinated parish at 29.55%.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 99.2% of all COVID-19 deaths are in unvaccinated people, meaning the available vaccines are very effective against the current COVID-19 variants, including Delta, which is the dominant strain in Louisiana.
Enmon expressed his concern with how roughly around 70 percent of Tangipahoa Parish residents are unvaccinated and vulnerable, along with the state seeing a 177 percent rise in cases over the past two weeks.
North Oaks Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Peltier confirmed that COVID-19 hospitalizations have doubled at North Oaks Medical Center in recent weeks, and since January 2021, most every COVID-19 patient admitted has been unvaccinated.
“Most vaccinated people – even if they get COVID-19 – will not need to be hospitalized. Vaccination is your best defense against experiencing severe disease,” Peltier affirms.
The COVID 100 mass vaccination event will take place at North Oaks Immunization Clinic, located at 15790 Paul Vega, MD, Drive in Hammond. Appointments are required. First-dose appointments must be scheduled for Saturday, July 31, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Registered participants will receive $50 cash immediately after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Registered participants must return by appointment on Saturday, Aug. 21, to receive the remaining $50 cash of their incentive immediately after receiving their second dose of the vaccine.
The Immunization Clinic is located on the North Oaks Medical Center campus in Hammond. Enter the campus via Medical Arts Plaza Drive from Highway 51 Business/Veterans Boulevard.
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