Would a $1 Million incentive and free college scholarship encourage vaccinations?
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama continues to see a big drop in demand for COVID vaccine shots. Mass vaccinations sites will be shutting down in favor of smaller community based sites. What can be done to increase demand? How about a million dollars?
That is exactly what Ohio is doing. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is taking some of the federal pandemic money and using it as a weekly lottery. Ohio residents could be selected to win the million dollars or a full scholarship to a state college.
Ohio hopes the million dollar lottery and free college scholarship will increase the number of people seeking COVID vaccinations, which have dropped off. The state is set to lift restrictions on COVID in a few weeks.
“I think my initial reaction was I might go get another shot in Ohio. That is what I thought,” Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer ADPH joked.
Dr. Sarah Nafziger, UAB VP of Clinical Services said the idea of providing incentives is worth trying just to see if it would lead to more people willing to get shots in their arms. “Anything that it takes to convince people to go get their vaccine I’m all for it. I will be watching very closely what is happening in Ohio.” she said.
UAB’s mass vaccinations sites like at the Hoover Met, has seen a 75% drop off in vaccine demand. “If we don’t get more people vaccinated, COVID is going to stick around and it’s going to stay here a lot more long term. What that means we won’t be able to get back to normal,” Dr. Nafziger, said.
“There are certain types of incentives that could be done by using federal funds. Having a million dollar jackpot? We didn’t ask that question. I’m not sure about that,” Harris said.
Dr. Nafziger said some businesses such as Krispy Kreme offered incentives to those that got vaccinations. She hoped other businesses will the do same.
Harris said there have been discussions of incentives such as tickets for certain events or credits for restaurants.
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