Thursday, May 20, 2021

Vaccine Freebies Abound for Those Who Get the Shot

Incentives include a chance at $1 million in Ohio, free food and drink, tickets to events

These days you can get free doughnuts, a beer on the house, tickets to an amusement park, a no-cost hunting license or cold, hard cash if you get a COVID-19 vaccination.

And then there's Ohio: The governor there recently announced that adults who get vaccines will be eligible to enter a drawing for one of five $1 million awards, or for teens, one of five full, four-year scholarships to an Ohio state school, including room and board, tuition and books.

Carl Hunnel, 60, the city editor for the Richland Source news organization based in Mansfield, Ohio, already has been vaccinated, but he says he'll be signing up for the lottery. “I've already got the shot, so if they say go to this website and fill this out ... I'd be dumb not to,” he says.

Judging by the variety of incentives out there, tangible encouragements are seen as just the nudge some reluctant vaccine takers need.

Emily Largent, an assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, says using diverse incentives — ranging from free food to cash and gift cards — will encourage people with different motivations to get vaccinated. The offers may be particularly helpful for younger people or those without preexisting conditions who are less concerned about the public health benefits of vaccinations.

"The variety is probably good, just like how everybody wants something different at a smorgasbord,” Largent says. “We give people more options and hopefully encourage more people to come along.”

Some won't be swayed by freebies, particularly those who are wary of vaccines, she says: “There are a lot of reasons why people aren't getting vaccinated, and incentives will not help with all of those reasons."

For those who want to go all in and get the most out of their vaccinations, here's some of what's being offered:

Read more:

What about the people who did the right thing and got their vaccination as soon as they were eligible?  Once again, the system rewards those who grift it.  No wonder we are a nation of liars and thieves.

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