Story at a glance

  • As the delta variant spreads in Texas, a Harris County judge confirmed the local government will pay residents if they receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • This comes as just half of Americans are fully vaccinated.
  • President Biden previously called on states to offer this financial incentive to residents.

A Texas judge said on Tuesday that the local government will give out payments of $100 to anyone who received their first COVID-19 vaccination in an incentive to increase vaccination rates as the delta variant continues to spread. 

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo made the announcement during a press conference. 

Located in southeast Texas and home to Houston, Harris County is one of the most populous in the country. To protect its residents from the infectious delta variant, the county health department will issue $100 in cash cards to residents who receive their first COVID-19 shot at any HCPH vaccination site. 

“Fully vaccinated people have the greatest protection against the Delta Variant,” the press release reads. “The vaccine is the best tool we have in mitigating both the spread and impact of COVID-19 and we urge residents to do their part by getting vaccinated and encouraging others to do the same.”


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Residents will need to show proof of the vaccination before the end of August to receive the money. 

Officials write that about 63 percent of Harris County residents have had at least one vaccine dose. The county positivity rate, however, is high, reading more than 20 percent. Hospitals in the region are also reportedly overwhelmed due to the influx of COVID-19 patients seeking care. 

Recent state data shows more than 45,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections in Harris County. 

Earlier in July, President Biden recommended states use this type of financial incentive to help increase vaccination rates across the county. 


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Published on Aug 17, 2021