John Bel Edwards

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards receives his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.

(The Center Square) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has expanded a COVID-19 vaccination incentive program, offering $100 to every vaccine-eligible resident in the state.

The Shot for 100 giveaway began as a $7.5 million program aimed at vaccinating 75,000 Louisiana college students between the ages of 18 and 29. Edwards announced Friday anyone receiving their first COVID-19 dose can now receive the $100 payment, including minors with parental consent.

"By expanding the Shot for 100 campaign to everyone in Louisiana, we hope to see tens of thousands of additional people get their first dose of the safe and effective COVID vaccines, so we can end this pandemic once and for all," Edwards said in a statement. "If you’ve not yet been able to go Sleeves Up yet, we’re hoping a cool $100 will help make the decision easier.”

Interested residents must be vaccinated at an approved community health site, after which a deactivated Visa gift card will be awarded. Upon entering individual vaccine and health information at ShotFor100.com, the Visa card will be electronically loaded with $100.

The Louisiana Department of Health oversees the program. The award money comes from federal coronavirus relief funds.

“Louisiana is using a portion of its unspent federal funds to share information about the availability and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and to encourage additional Louisianans to get vaccinated to stop the spread and boost our public health and continued economic recovery. No state funds will be used to pay for the prizes,” the Department of Health said.

According to the Shot for 100 website, the $100 reward is taxable and participant information will be retained by the state.

“The Louisiana Department of Health maintains the records and personal data of those who have had COVID-19 vaccinations administered at non-federal facilities in Louisiana within a secure computer system. If you have a question regarding privacy please refer to the Louisiana Department of Health Privacy Policy,” the department said.

Edwards said more than 2.3 million state residents have been vaccinated.

“However, it’s not nearly enough to put an end to this pandemic, particularly as the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to circulate,” he said.

The Shot for 100 program is scheduled to end Oct. 30.

Staff Reporter

William Patrick is a regional reporter for The Center Square currently covering Louisiana. He previously covered the Florida Legislature and has a background in investigative journalism. William’s work has been widely published over his 10-year career.