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'Ticket to Outside' campaign gives incentives for COVID-19 vaccinations

The first stop of the campaign is at the aquarium
Posted at 5:46 PM, May 18, 2021

TAMPA BAY, Fla- — The City of Tampa says if you get vaccinated at their "Ticket to Outside" campaign at the Florida Aquarium on Wednesday, you'll get a free aquarium ticket!

“Right now, we’re at a point where we’re seeing really good momentum, and we think organizations like ours who can offer an extra little incentive that’s good for them, good for the families, and communities, is worth it,” said Florida Aquarium President and CEO Roger Germann. "That's why we're stepping up today, and we hope we can keep that momentum moving forward."

On Wednesday, anyone 12 and up who receives their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Florida Aquarium will receive a free ticket to the aquarium to use immediately or redeem through the remainder of the year.

The City of Tampa partnered with both the Florida Aquarium and AdventHealth for its "Ticket to Outside" campaign, which the city says is part of an effort to reduce hesitancy and increase shots in arms using incentives for local attractions and events.

"If the vaccine works and we can get back to kind of the behaviors that we all love and enjoy, whether it’s come to the Florida Aquarium or go to your local grocery store and just feel confident that you won’t get sick, it’s really, really important. Not only for us individually, but for our community," said Germann.

AdventHealth professionals were on-site administering the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for minors, beginning at 11am. The event has now been extended to 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Parents or guardians of children ages 12 to 17 will need to bring a copy of their child's birth certificate, passport, or driver's license to show proof of age.

“These events are so important because it normalizes the vaccine, and it allows us to get out in the communities and make it super easy," said Jonah Levine, an AdventHealth consultant. "It’s not a scary process. It’s very, very simple."

Dennis Willett said his mind was made up to get the vaccine anyway when he showed up to the aquarium, but he said he thinks incentives may be what's going to get a lot of people to get the shot.

“It’s just like any other shot. When we were young, we had to get the vaccines and all those to go to school, what’s the difference of this one?" said Willett.

Mayor Jane Castor said she wants everyone to know the vaccines are available everywhere, but she said they are going to continue to provide giveaways, free admission to events, and whatever they feel will motivate someone to consider getting the vaccine.

“Just think about your responsibility to the community. Think beyond yourself as an individual, why you should personally get a vaccination, and think about what you’re doing in support of keeping your community safe and healthy," said Castor.