Milam County offering $250 incentive for COVID-19 vaccination of eligible children

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:44 AM CDT
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MILAM COUNTY, Texas (KBTX) - The Milam County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to award each Milam County child between the ages of 12 – 17 a monetary incentive of $250 (per child) to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Milam County Judge Steve Young.

Young says this is the first county in Texas to take such progressive action to get children vaccinated.

“Getting the children vaccinated is essential to ending the pandemic,” Young wrote in the release. He says the cost of the incentive will be paid for with funds the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Young says there are approximately 2,400 eligible children in Milam County.

“Children who are fully vaccinated are protected from becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus; do not have to quarantine if they come into close contact with an infected person, meaning they can stay in school and participate in extracurricular activities; and the educators and administrators are better protected from the virus,” Young stated in the release.

Children as young as 12 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Milam County will run a special children’s clinic at the Milam County Health Department on Thursday, June 10 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. with the primary intent of vaccinating Milam County children.

“We will run many other additional children’s clinics throughout the county beginning next week,” said Young.

Some local residents like Lorena Banda said they already planned on getting their children vaccinated.

“We are doing it for grandma and grandpa because we’re always with them. We’re always with family everywhere together,” said Banda. “Maybe it is safer for us, also safer for the public. I mean, I encourage it and I hope other people would too.”

Some Milam County residents who didn’t want to speak on camera said they don’t like the idea of the county paying cash just to get people vaccinated.

Judge Young says they are not forcing anyone to get the vaccine.

“Come on down and get them vaccinated,” said Young. “Because when you do, you protect your children, you protect yourself and you get them in school, keep them in school, and do one of the best things you can do for them which is get them educated, and that’s what we are trying to do here in Milam County.”

To be eligible for the incentive, the child must be between the ages of 12 and 17; must be a Milam County resident; and must be fully vaccinated, meaning they must have received both shots. Once the requirements are met, the parent(s) will receive a check from Milam County, according to Young’s release.

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