Massachusetts Spending More Than $3.6 Million On Gift Cards To Encourage Coronavirus Vaccination

Printed from:

In the last couple of months of 2022, Massachusetts is spending more than $3 million in gift cards to incentivize people to get vaccinated against coronavirus, a public records request from NewBostonPost found. 

Since the start of November 2022, the state has been offering $75 gift cards at various coronavirus vaccination clinics in mostly urban communities to encourage more people to get the shot. It’s part of the Vaccine Equity Initiative‘s Get Boosted program sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“The Vaccine Equity Initiative works with the populations and communities hardest hit by COVID-19 to increase awareness and acceptance of the vaccine, access to vaccination locations, and vaccine administration rates,” the state Department of Public Health’s web site says.

But just how much is the state spending on gift cards? More than $3 million, the state told NewBostonPost. 

The state provided provide $3,636,900 to JSI Research & Training Institute Inc. to purchase $3 million worth of gift cards for its mobile vaccination clinics; the state instructed its contractor to purchase a total of 40,000 gift cards valued at $75 apiece. The gift cards include a mix of cards for Stop & Shop, Market Basket, Walmart, and Target.

JSI is a health care consulting firm that says it takes local approaches to improve public health outcomes.

“We work within communities and rely on local staff to ground our approach in a deep understanding of those who will benefit,” the company’s web site says. “While we promote using best practices and sharing solutions, we tailor strategies to each situation and seek creative options to meet clients’ needs.”

Communities hosting these gift card-for-vaccination clinics include:  Amherst, Avon, Belchertown, Boston, Brimfield, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Dudley, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Gardner, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Martha’s Vineyard, Methuen, Nantucket, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Southbridge, Springfield, Taunton, Ware, Webster, West Springfield, and Worcester. 

The Equity Initiative says that its priority is getting the following groups of people vaccinated:


  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Latinx individuals

  • Individuals who do not speak English, or who prefer to speak in another language

  • Individuals who do not have access to transportation, either personal or public, or who face barriers getting to a vaccination location

  • Individuals who do not feel comfortable receiving the vaccine in a traditional healthcare setting

  • Individuals with disabilities and those who have access and functional needs

  • Individuals experiencing homelessness

  • Individuals with mental illness and/or residents with substance use disorder

  • Individuals who identify as LGBTQ+

The gift cards are available at eligible clinics to all adults; the minimum age for minors varies from six months to 12 years old. No form of identification is necessary to get the vaccine or the gift card at these clinics.

The complete list of gift-card-for-vaccination clinics is available on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health web site.

A spokesman for the state Department of Public Health could not be reached for comment on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday this week. Nor could a spokesman for JSI Research & Training Institute Inc., the company disbursing the gift cards.

A document outlining the $3.6 million the state gave the JSI Research & Training Institute Inc. is available below:

INTF5106H23SPRF61013_V5_Bureau.JSI AMendment



New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.