Cities and states across the US are promising gift cards and event access to people with COVID-19 vaccines

A frontline healthcare worker receives a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination at the Park County Health Departments storefront clinic on January 5, 2021 in Livingston, Montana.
Photo by William Campbell/Getty Images

State and local governments are trying to incentivize vaccinations against the coronavirus.
It’s an effort to promote vaccinations and push toward reaching herd immunity.
So far, at least five states offer some form of incentive to encourage people to get the vaccine.
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Earlier this week, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that any resident between the ages 16 and 35 will receive a $100 savings bond in exchange for getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.
Chris Jackson/Associated Press

People within this age group are not taking the vaccine as fast as the state hoped they would. "If we really want to move the needle, we’ve got to get our younger people vaccinated," Justice said during a press briefing.
To fund the initiative, the state allocated money from the CARES Act, a measure passed by Congress last year to stave off the financial devastation brought on by the coronavirus. 

Vaccinated residents of Connecticut will be able to get one free drink between May 19 and May 31, according to a state webpage.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office has partnered with numerous restaurants around Connecticut that are participating in this initiative.
"To take part in the promotion which will run through the end of May, customers simply show that they have received either one or both doses of a COVID vaccine, at which point they can select from a list of pre-set drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) established by each participating restaurant," the webpage says. 

Beginning Monday, May 3, some Detroit residents will be able to receive a $50 prepaid debit card.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
AP

Anyone who pre-registers and drives another city resident to a vaccination site will get the $50 card as a reward. 
"Pushing past our inability to manage and win the argument on social media, we really had to be more inventive about how to get the attention of the greater, grander community," said Detroit Deputy Mayor Conrad L. Mallett. 
The initiative is part of the city’s Good Neighbor program, designed to incentivize those who donate their "time and effort" to help the vaccine cause, Mallett said.

Harris County in Texas has set aside $250,000 to divvy up as incentives for vaccinated individuals.

Nurse Roy Christian receives the Covid-19 vaccine at John Sealy Hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston, Texas on December 15, 2020.
Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

The money will go toward events, gift cards, and other incentives that will be offered to all residents who’ve been vaccinated, according to the Houston Chronicle. 
It’s a way to encourage Harris County residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus in a step toward achieving herd immunity.
"We desperately need these people to get vaccinated, particularly the young people," County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. "I asked you to be as creative as we possibly can because I don’t want to sit here a month from now and see the numbers worsen, or see this pandemic extended, and say, ‘If we had just done X, would we have avoided this situation?’"

Chicago is experimenting with a Vax Pass that will offer vaccinated individuals a chance to attend concerts and events.

Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot arrives at a University of Chicago initiative event for the science in Chicago, Illinois, on July 23, 2020.
REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the initiative comes as the city is "looking at ways in which we can incentivize folks to get the vaccine."
"We’re going to be looking at ways in which we can incentivize people to get vaccinated, and do that by looking at preferred seating, preferred admission. So that’s still very much a work in progress, and we’ll have more to say on that in the coming days," she added.

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Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/cities-and-states-incentivizing-covid-19-vaccines-2021-5

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