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Jacksonville Pastor To Offer $25 Gift Cards To People Under 25 Who Get Vaccinated

Rev. Mark Griffin of Wayman Temple A.M.E. Church gives a speech on  June 8, 2020.
Bob Self
/
Florida Times-Union
Rev. Mark Griffin of Wayman Temple A.M.E. Church gives a speech on June 8, 2020.

A Jacksonville pastor is offering $25 gift cards to young adults who get vaccinated at his church’s vaccine event in a couple of weeks.

Mark Griffin’s Wayman Temple AME Church is holding the “$25 for 25” vaccination drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, at the church’s west campus at 1176 Labelle St. in the Hillcrest area. 

The drive comes as COVID-19 cases are spiking in Jacksonville. Duval County is averaging 918 new COVID-19 cases per day. Young Florida residents have the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate of any age group. Only 35% of people aged 12 to 19 are vaccinated, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Griffin said he is pushing for younger people to get vaccinated because the delta variant appears more harmful to them than previous strains. Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville was treating several children for COVID this week, according to the Baptist Medical CEO. 

“There's no way that anyone can tell upfront what their reaction to COVID-19 may be,” Griffin said. “My message to them is, they really don't want to find out the hard way.”

The gift cards will include Visa cards that can be spent anywhere, as well as iTunes and Chick-fil-A, Griffin said. To him, the cost is worth it if it means more people will get vaccinated.

“That's a small price to pay in comparison to the tremendous costs that we incur because people continue to get COVID-19,” Griffin said.

While the event is targeting young people, it will provide vaccines to anyone eligible for them. No appointments are required.

Tristan Wood can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @TristanDWood.