Dallas ISD offers $50 incentive for students to get vaccinated

Dallas ISD says it will pay students who are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s the first school district in North Texas to do so.

The district announced Monday that students 12 or older who are fully vaccinated are eligible for a $50 incentive. 

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The one-time payment will be distributed in the form of a gift card that can be used as cash.

Students will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to get the card.

"Every measure that you can put in place I think is a help," said Jennifer Finley, Dallas ISD’s Director of Health Services.

The money is coming from federal COVID relief cash.

Last month, DISD announced its incentive of $500 to its employees who are fully vaccinated. So far, the district says about 70% of its staff is now vaccinated.

"Health and safety is a priority for the district," Finley said. "Getting through this variant is a priority." 

Dallas started the school year off with a mask mandate on campus and defying Gov. Greg Abbott. 

Since Aug. 1, about 1% of Dallas ISD students have tested positive.

On Monday, the district couldn’t provide a percentage of students who are already vaccinated.

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The announcement caused mixed feelings among parents in the pick-up line Monday afternoon. 

"I don’t see why someone has to get paid. They should do it on their own," said Parent Elizabeth Valerio.

14-year-old Eli Pritchard left last period at J. L. Long Middle School in Dallas to get his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

His dad, Deryk Pritchard decided to do the same. 

"I was tired of feeling like people I love were scared to be around me," he said.

"I think it’s just too soon for the kids right now," said mother Pashunia Gipson. "I think it’s wrong."

Some parents admit they still aren’t ready themselves. While others are hoping this push will work. 

"I hope people will understand we need to get rid of this virus," said grandmother Janice Goins. "I am tired of this."

Both deadlines to submit proof of vaccination for students and teachers is Nov. 15.

To help with accessibility, DISD says it will be scheduling more vaccine clinics at additional campuses. 

LINK: www.dallasisd.org/studentvaxincentive