Free parking, Rays ticket vouchers: Vaccine incentive events to be held in St. Pete this weekend


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas County is stepping up efforts to get more people vaccinated with a couple events being held in St. Petersburg this weekend.

The Tampa Bay Rays have teamed up with Bayfront Health to get more shots in arms during their game against the White Sox on Friday at Tropicana Field. Medical personnel will set up a mobile clinic outside Gate 4 that will offer fans the first dose Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. HIV & HCV testing, health screenings and community health navigation will also be available at no cost.

The ball club has hosted vaccine clinics before, but the team said they saw a need for another clinic when COVID-19 numbers started to climb.

Fans who get a vaccine will also get a voucher for two tickets to a future 2021 home game and a $25 gift card. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:10 p.m.

“I think one of the things that we’re proud of that we have is over 85% of our staff are vaccinated, 85% of our players are vaccinated so we’re doing our part in our community to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep people safe as well,” said Stephen Thomas, the senior director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Tampa Bay Rays.

The Pinellas County Health Department said more than 552,000 people in the county have received the vaccine. That’s 62% of the county’s population.

City leaders want to bring COVID-19 positive numbers down among those working downtown in the hospitality industry.

“Who sometimes have to struggle to find parking to go to work are very excited about this. They’re also our frontline workers who are interacting with the public every day. So if we can encourage them to get vaccinated and get a parking space for a month while they’re at it, that’s a win/win” said Dr. Kanika Tomlin, the St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor.

On Friday, the City of St. Petersburg will host its own vaccine clinic, “Poke and Park.” The first 500 attendees who get poked in the arm will get a full month of free parking at a city garage downtown. The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available. Vouchers will be handed out on a first come, first served basis. Those that have already been vaccinated are not eligible for a voucher.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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