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San Benito County orgs sponsor $1,500 raffle for vaccine recipients

dek: County has given away about $215K worth of incentives

Amid a report of a Covid outbreak within the Hollister Fire Department, San Benito County orders all EMS and fire employees to get vaccinated.

Local organizations in San Benito County are sponsoring a cash raffle with up to $1,500 in total prizes for residents who complete their Covid-19 vaccination in the month of October.

Meanwhile, San Benito County still has funding to issue $200 cash incentives and $25 gift cards for individuals who have been recently vaccinated or will be soon.

The upcoming raffle is funded by a $1,500 grant to the San Benito Community Foundation from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, says a press release from the county. The purpose of the grant funds is to “coordinate and increase vaccine outreach.”

The raffle will consist of a $500 cash prize to three winning recipients. To be eligible to enter, San Benito County residents must complete their Covid-19 vaccine series between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31. The drawing will be held Nov. 5.

A completed vaccine series is equivalent to a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna jab, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The vaccine campaign features local artist Venecia Prudencio to help encourage residents to get vaccinated, says the county press release. Coordinating the raffle is a coalition of local agencies and organizations, including the Community Foundation for San Benito County, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, BenitoLink, LULAC, San Benito County, San Benito County Arts Council, San Benito County Farm Bureau, San Benito Health Foundation, San Benito County Office of Education, San Benito YMCA and Youth Alliance.

The raffle is designed to complement the county’s vaccine incentive program to help boost the vaccination rates of San Benito County residents. Eligible residents will be entered into the raffle after they receive their $200 cash incentive through the San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency.

The cash vouchers can be claimed at San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency at 1111 San Felipe Road, Suite 108 in Hollister, Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm.  

To schedule a Covid-19 vaccine appointment, visit the State’s MyTurn vaccine appointment system at or call 833.422.4255.

County staff sent out a reminder about the Health and Human Services Agency’s continuing Covid-19 vaccine incentive program, which started in August with $500,000 in total funding. This program offers $200 to San Benito County residents who have completed their vaccination since Aug. 10, and $25 gift cards to those who have received one dose since the same date.

Both county incentives will continue while funds last. To date, the county has issued about $215,000 in vaccine incentives.

As of Sept. 29, about 34,500 San Benito County residents have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, says the county’s press release. An additional 4,500 residents are partially vaccinated.

“With the emergency of the more transmissible Delta variant, there is a renewed urgency to get all eligible Californians vaccinated as quickly as possible,” says the county’s press release.

Also as of Sept. 29, 290 of the 294 local Covid-19 cases that have resulted in hospitalization were among the unvaccinated, according to county staff. All 70 deaths from Covid-19 in San Benito County were of unvaccinated individuals.

“San Benito County Public health officials remind the unvaccinated population that the Covid-19 vaccines are widely available, safe, free, and provide excellent protection from severe Covid-19 infection, its variants, hospitalization and death,” the Oct. 1 press release says.

The county is also hosting free public health clinics on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11am to 2pm and 2-4pm at 351 Tres Pinos Road, Suite B in Hollister. No appointments are necessary.