While she acknowledged improving numbers, including a 63% first vaccine rate in the county, there's still a 20% positivity rate in the midst of the highly contagious delta variant.
In order to receive $100 paid in the form of a cash card, residents will have to sign a waiver prior to the vaccination and remain in the post-vaccination waiting area at a Harris County Public Health vaccination site for the 15-to-30 minutes recommended.
Payments are made at the time of vaccination and the program runs through Aug. 31.
🚨New Vaccine Incentive Initiative for All First Dose Recipients🚨— Harris County Public Health #GetVaxxed (@hcphtx) August 17, 2021
📢Residents who receive their First dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through HCPH will receive a $100 cash card! Deets👉🏼 https://t.co/pwbx1B37lC pic.twitter.com/UCgTbpotcF
Ahead of Tuesday's announcement, Hidalgo's office called the incentive a "major public health initiative" as a way to lessen the strain on hospitalizations.
She added there are more people in the hospital now with COVID in the greater Houston area than any other time during the pandemic.
Harris Health System president and CEO, Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, supported Hidalgo's sentiment made earlier this month calling the current situation a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
WATCH: 'I am begging you' to the right thing amid surge, hospital CEO says
The hospital system reported a little over 98% of those hospitalized for COVID in the Harris Health System have not been vaccinated. And, as of Tuesday, Harris County Public Health's COVID dashboard showed a little over 26% of ICU beds across hospitals in the county are for COVID patients.
According to Porsa, an ICU bed for a COVID patient takes away care from those who need it for non-virus related ailments like trauma. The vaccine, which experts said isn't perfect, lessens the severity and length of symptoms.
SEE MORE: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo raises COVID threat level to 'severe'
Overall, Hidalgo summed up Tuesday's announcement, stating there are people who are suffering from the virus who didn't have to.
In the hours after Harris County's offering, Mayor Sylvester Turner also made his appeal for vaccinations, saying the city of Houston has surpassed 3,000 deaths from the pandemic..
Today, the City of Houston reached a grim milestone. There have been over 3,000 deaths due to #COVID19. To be exact, the number is 3,010 because 11 deaths are being reported today.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 17, 2021
Turner and Dr. David Persse, the city's chief medical officer, directed a vaccine message to the "younger generation" who remain hesitant to get the shots.
Addressing social media messaging that claims the vaccines alter DNA, Turner said it's simply not true.
To our younger generation, there are a lot of misinformation being spread on social media. I am asking our athletes, musicians, and other influential individuals to help us in speaking up and encouraging everyone to get the #COVID19 vaccination.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 17, 2021
The #COVID19 vaccination will not alter your DNA nor will it prevent individuals from having children. We must work together to debunk these myths and work to keep ourselves and our loved one safe as we combat this virus and its variants.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 17, 2021