Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

21 Feb 2022

Gift cards, certificates & tokens awarded to EUA COVID-19 vaccine recipients from SJBPH

Posted by Adam Howell


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Gift cards, gift certificates and tokens were awarded to EUA COVID-19 vaccine recipients in Durango, Pagosa Springs and Ignacio in 2021 by officials with San Juan Basin Public Health.

Statewide, the cards and vouchers were offered by the state of Colorado through the Comeback Cash program as a financial incentive for getting vaccinated. The gift cards were given out in Walmart parking lots and various businesses and schools to those who received a 1st or 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

For example, in an email from SJBPH PIO Chandler Griffin to Pagosa Sun Staff Writer Randi Pierce, Chandler said that the cards were given out on August 25, 2021:

“Walmart Supercenter Parking Lot – Store 5003
Incentive offered: $100 Walmart gift card
211 Aspen Village Dr., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Vaccine type: Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson
Scratch is out. Malt Shoppe Gift Cards and some Pagosa Brewing Tokens”

An internal email also implied that the gift cards were given out to residents in Ignacio, Colorado.

Gift cards from Walmart were given out to recipients of the first or second dose of the vaccine.


Also part of the former Comeback Cash Program were five opportunities to win $1 million dollars for those who purchased a lottery ticket. Those eligible in June of 2021 were Colorado residents who had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fwd_ Release 8_27_ Comeback Cash incentives con...

Specifically, some of the charges in the statements below were for gift certificates, tokens, or gift cards used as a promotion for people getting vaccinated for COVID-19, according to San Juan Basin Public Health Public Information Officer Chandler Griffin.

Notably, were charges to Bottom Shelf Brewery, City Market, Cream Bean Berry, Malt Shoppe LLC and Walmart.

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Adam Howell is a writer who believes in free press and the importance of the constitution. He can be reached by clicking on this link to the contact page.

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