DC to offer $51 gift cards to those getting first COVID-19 shot
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Starting Saturday, Washington, D.C., residents ages 12 and older who get their first COVID-19 shot could have a chance to receive a $51 gift card in a new push by Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserTwo shot outside of popular restaurants in DC, police still searching for suspects The Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics DC mayor, Nationals issue joint statement against gun violence MORE (D) to get more people vaccinated against the virus. 

The mayor announced the initiative as part of the city’s third Community Corps Day of Action, each of which have been intended to “engage with neighbors who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and help them make a plan to get vaccinated,” according to a statement from Bowser’s office

As part of the vaccine push, D.C. residents who get their first shift shot at select vaccine locations across the city anytime from Saturday to July 17 will receive a $51 Visa gift card, seemingly a nod to the District’s push to become the 51st. U.S. state. 

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The mayor’s office said that gift cards will only be available to District residents, and those between the ages of 12 and 17 must have a guardian present when they get the shot. 

The gift cards will be offered at the RISE Demonstration Center, Anacostia High School and Ron Brown High School, Bowser’s office said. 

Additionally, District residents who get vaccinated at Anacostia High School on Saturday will be entered into a contest to win two round-trip American Airlines tickets to any domestic or international location where the airline flies. 

American Airlines President Robert Isom said in a statement included in the press release from the mayor’s office, “We are incredibly proud to pitch in on this effort by Mayor Bowser to boost vaccination rates in the District of Columbia.” 

“We know vaccines are helping us beat COVID-19 and resume the activities we’ve all been longing for, like reconnecting with friends and family and traveling for leisure and business,” he added. “We commend Mayor Bowser’s dedication to ensuring every community in DC has equitable access to vaccines, and we’re honored by the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing work at the local and federal level to defeat the pandemic.”

The new rewards for vaccinated residents come the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that 70 percent of adults ages 18 and older in the nation’s capital have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. 

People as young as 12 years old are now able to get the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with 69 percent of D.C. residents ages 12 and up having already received at least one dose, according to the CDC. 

In total, nearly 50,000 people in D.C. have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and the virus has killed more than 1,100 individuals throughout the District.