COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Time is running out to get paid for getting the COVID-19 shot at Columbus Public Health. The Vax Cash program is set to end on September 10th after a previous extension.

Since early summer, the health department has been giving $100 Visa gift cards for patients receiving their first dose of the vaccine at more than a half dozen clinic locations.

Thursday, some receiving their first dose at the walk-in clinic at CPH said they were pleasantly surprised to receive the gift card.

“It’s definitely going to come in handy,” said Bria Shreve.

Anita Herald said, “We’re going to do birthday fun.”

Herald took her niece, Rayvyn Coffman, to the vaccine clinic on her 12th birthday so they could both get their first doses.

“At first she didn’t want to. So I convinced her to get it with me on her birthday,” Herald explained.

Coffman said she was nervous but had been looking forward to the unconventional birthday celebration.

“You definitely need to stay safe,” she said of being vaccinated, adding she was hoping to protect younger children that live in the home.

Since the Vax Program launched, CPH has given out more than 14,000 gift cards. In that time, health leaders noted an increase in the number of young people and people of color getting the shot. Both demographics have lagging vaccination rates compared to other groups.

As of Thursday morning, the health department had 3,877 gift cards remaining to hand out. If there are any leftovers after clinics close on Friday, CPH will likely extend the program again at certain clinics.

You can find a list of CPH vaccine clinics and more information about the Vax Cash program by clicking on this link.