Just in the past few weeks I have really felt the mood in my circle of friends lighten up considerably. More and more friends, co-workers, and even family members are talking about gathering for weekend parties or attending social events for the holidays. Granted, we're not totally out from under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, but at least things appear to be getting brighter and brighter in our efforts to mitigate that deadly virus.

Many people have pointed to the vaccines that have been developed to battle COVID-19 as the major catalyst for Louisiana and the rest of the nation, heck the rest of the world, returning to a more semblance of normal. Of course, the greatest vaccines in the world will mean nothing if people won't take them.

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Many states have resorted to offering cash incentives to encourage college students and the general public to get the shot. In Louisiana, that program is called Shot for 100 and it is basically what the name implies. If you get your initial COVID vaccine from an authorized vaccination center you'll get a gift card valued at $100.

The program was originally aimed at college students in hopes of mitigating the spread of the virus as college campuses began to fill with students at the beginning of the fall semester. That program was later extended to anyone over the age of 16 in Louisiana.

Now, the Louisiana Department of Health has announced that the Shot for 100 program has been extended through the end of November. Of course, the $100 gift cards will still be offered but there is a limited supply so, if you want the shot and the money, you better act now.

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The Department of Health also noted that once the CDC has officially authorized vaccine protocols for kids aged 5 to 11 years old, those children, with parental consent, will be eligible to participate in the Shot for 100 program as well.

LDH officials say they are often asked about the $100 cards if they are per family or per person. The answer is this. They are per person. So parents could not only receive a small financial windfall for getting their kids vaccinated, they will also have peace of mind in knowing that the vaccines have been proven to prevent more serious cases of COVID-19.

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Granted, no vaccine is 100% foolproof. No one ever claimed these vaccines were. What has been vetted and peer-reviewed is the fact that the vaccines improve survivability and lessen the symptoms of this particular disease. For some people, that's more than enough reason to get the shot and if they take advantage of the state's current policy, they could earn $100 dollars between now and the end of the month for doing it.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.