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Deals for a dose? Council member wants city to offer incentives for vaccinations

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Posted at 10:58 PM, May 19, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There’s a new push in St. Pete to vaccinate people who are still on the fence.

Council member Robert Blackmon wants city officials to partner with local businesses and offer discounts and deals for people who receive a COVID-19 vaccination shot.

Blackmon says city leaders could designate between $10,000 and $20,000 for businesses still rebounding from the pandemic.

“To me, it seems like a no-brainer,” said Blackmon. “Discount cards, free breakfast sandwich, shots for shots or something like that for local bars.”

According to the latest data, 457,000 people have been vaccinated in Pinellas County. That’s 47% of the total population.

City officials say Pinellas County now ranks fourth for highest vaccination rates among Florida’s top ten most-populated counties.

“It is a race in my mind, and if you’re leading a race you don’t want to let off the gas, you continue to gas it,” said Blackmon.

ABC Action News spoke with Bailey Gunning, a 21-year-old who recently moved to St. Petersburg.

Gunning only recently made an appointment to receive a vaccination shot and is confident incentives from bars and restaurants will successfully attract people in her age group.

“One, they don’t have to wear a mask anymore and two, they get to go out and have fun and save money since a lot of people haven’t been working over the last year,” said Gunning.

Blackmon will present his incentive plan during Thursday’s city council meeting.