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Company, doctor offer more incentives to take vaccine

With COVID-19 cases on the rise both nationally and locally, it has lots of individuals thinking of ways to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Atrium Health will be at Eastgate Shopping Center 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday for a walk-up vaccination event, but it is what community partners are doing that makes it a little more enticing for those still unvaccinated to roll up their sleeves and get the shot.

Vac & Dash and a physician who grew up in Stanly County are offering two free movie tickets to everyone getting vaccinated that day. In addition, those individuals have a chance to win $500.

Vac & Dash owner and Stanly County Commissioner Peter Asciutto serves as one of Atrium Health’s community vaccination ambassadors. As an ambassador, he helps promote the health care organization’s efforts and provides information to combat misinformation about the vaccines. When bouncing around ideas with others, a physician who grew up in Stanly County donated $500 to help Asciutto in his efforts.

The physician, who prefers to remain anonymous, closely follows the county’s vaccination rates, is concerned about his hometown’s lagging numbers and wanted to help support activities to get people vaccinated.

From there, Asciutto connected with Atrium Health to find out when its mobile vaccination unit would be returning to Stanly County.

“We wanted to offer the incentive in conjunction with a vaccine event that was easily accessible and highly visible,” said Asciutto. “The shopping center was an ideal location. You won’t be able to miss the teal mobile unit in the parking lot, and to sweeten the deal Vac & Dash will offer two free movie tickets to the local theater for anyone getting vaccinated.”

A play on his store’s name, Asciutto is calling the effort “Vax and Dash.” He’s even donating two pairs of running shoes to the drawings along with the $500 prize.

“No appointments are required. After someone pulls up and gets a vaccine, he or she can dash on over to our table and pick up movie tickets and register to win the money,” added Asciutto.

Anyone age 12 and older is eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine being offered and will be required to return to the same location on Aug. 13 to receive their second dose.

No identification (ID) is needed and there is no cost to those being vaccinated.