HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A lucky almost-7th grader just got a cash prize for getting vaccinated in Hartford. But the real reason behind the incentive is to combat the stigma of getting vaccinated — and that’s just what this 12 year old is doing.
Health officials say coronavirus and the delta variant alone should be reason enough to get vaccinated. Still, the city is awarding a $1,000 cash prize every week for someone who gets vaccinated.
Meet 12-year-old Tajean Spencer, the second Hartford resident to walk away with $1,000 after getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Tajean Spencer from Hartford says, “I was afraid and I didn’t want to be afraid anymore.”
The city started offering Six Flags tickets and cash prizes to encourage more people in the community get vaccinated. Tajean says he didn’t go into it for a prize.
“I wanted to visit my mom and you got to get the COVID vaccine to travel,” says Tajean.
More than 50% of vaccine-eligible people in Hartford have been vaccinated, but the city is making a big effort to vaccinate more students before they head back to school in the fall.
“Now that we have five weeks exactly until the start of school for regional magnet students, and then six weeks for the start of school for HPS students, you can be fully vaccinated by the end of the first week if you start getting vaccinated this week,” says health director Liany Arroyo.
“This variant is not just hitting older folks the way the older variants did. This is affecting young people too,” adds Mayor Luke Bronin.
The city is hosting clinics over the next few weeks to help get more kids vaccinated before they head back to school.