Vaccine Perks: States Are Offering These Incentives to Encourage Covid-19 Vaccinations
From giveaways, full scholarships and even a $1 million lottery, more states are continuing to hop onto the vaccine incentive trend. Cities and states are getting imaginative in an effort to encourage more residents to get the shot as vaccination rates decline.
Some of the biggest perks have been offered by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker.
DeWine announced Wednesday a series of statewide drawings to help push Ohio residents to get the vaccine. According to DeWine’s announcement, Ohioans under the age of 18 who are eligible to receive the vaccine will be entered into a drawing for a four-year full scholarship to any of Ohio’s state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room and board.
Ohioans aged 18 and older will be entered into a weekly drawing with a prize of up to $1 million. Five weekly drawings will take place, the first drawing taking place on May 26. All winners must have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.
“I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money,'” the governor said in a tweet. “But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic — when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it — is a life lost to COVID-19,” he stated, as reported by CNBC.
The state of West Virginia is offering all vaccinated residents ages 16-35 a $100 savings bond as the average age of Covid-19 cases decreases. “We’ve absolutely got to get our young people vaccinated,” Gov. Justice said in an official statement.
Illinois is the latest state to join the incentive movement when Gov. Pritzker announced Thursday that Six Flags Great America is donating 50,000 free tickets to newly vaccinated Illinois residents valued at $4 million, reports Forbes.
Over in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state is offering immunized residents an array of incentives. Forbes reported that vaccinated individuals can choose from free 7-day metro cards, tickets to sports games and some of the city’s key attractions (the Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Lincoln Center) and free food from burger joint Shake Shack.
Maryland is offering state government employees $100 payments to get vaccinated. “With this incentive program, we are further encouraging state employees to get vaccinated to help keep themselves, their families, and their communities healthy and safe,” Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday in a statement, as reported by The Baltimore Sun.
Forbes also noted that some other states are offering smaller benefits to residents such as New Jersey’s “shot and beer” program offering vaccinated individuals a free beer at participating breweries for this month and Connecticut offering vaccinated residents a free drink “on them.”
Individual cities and counties are starting to offer their own inoculation benefits. Forbes reported that Detroit is giving out unlimited $50 prepaid debit cards to anyone who drives someone else to a vaccine location, while Harris County in Texas has approved $250,000 in gift cards and other incentives.