Free vaccines draw big crowd to Durham Department of Public Health's back-to-school bash

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham Department of Public Health held its back-to-school bash on Friday with a vaccination twist.

"We've been wanting to get the vaccine, but the incentive definitely helped us to come out here and get it now," said Cassandra and Christopher Keith.

They were first in line Friday to get their shots at the bash.

"We know not everyone can make it to health department or to Walgreens or to another in-store site, so we try to get out to where people are and meet them where they are because everybody has got to get the shots," said Alecia Smith with the Durham health department.

In addition to free book bags, school supplies, haircuts and more. Smith said they also gave out $25 and $100 gift cards.

"We've been doing pretty well since we started offering the $100 Visa gift card for 18 and up, and of course we have $20 gift cards for 12- through 17-year-olds," Smith said.

Cassandra Keith said it's the push they needed to come out.

"I think it's a great idea. I really do because a lot of people you know even if they're scared or uneasy about getting it, that, that helps. Everyone needs money right now with everything going on," she said.

Despite the heat, the vaccine tent stayed very busy and that also put Christopher Keith at ease.

"Definitely nervous because you never know what's going to happen, but that's life in general, so you might as well take those risks because there's more of a risk for you not to get it than for you to get it," he said.

Durham public health leaders told ABC11 that they had enough supply to serve at least 500 people and were very impressed with the turnout this year.
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