The benefits of some states’ COVID vaccine are cash prizes. NJ’s is free beer
Maryland is pushing people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by offering dozens of prizes of $ 40,000 – and a prize that even totals $ 400,000.
At New York State-run vaccination sites, you can get a free lottery ticket for a chance to win a $ 5 million jackpot, while young adults could rack up four years of tuition, free accommodation and board in public schools.
Ohioans who get vaccinated can win one of five million dollar lottery prizes.
Here in New Jersey, getting a vaccine could win you a dinner party with Governor Phil Murphy and his wife, Tammy.
Will the Garden State stop being stingy with its vaccination incentives? Murphy said this week it was possible, but offered no details.
“We’re still not opposed… to other incentives,” Murphy said. “We have put in place a lot of these programs ourselves and will continue to see if we think there are others that make sense.”
Ohio was the first state in the country to offer a large cash prize in exchange for a vaccine, as part of a plan to convince residents skeptical of the inoculation. Its governor, Mike DeWine, announced the program the day after Murphy unveiled his first vaccine incentive plan – take a chance, win a free beer.
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New Jersey also offers free state park passes, normally $ 50.
This week, the Biden administration formally approved state plans that use cash prizes to increase the number of vaccines, saying DeWine “has unlocked a secret.”
“People do care about getting vaccinated, but it turns out they have other things they care about as well,” said Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser on COVID-19 response, during a press briefing Tuesday, according to NBC News. “Some of these things might encourage people to think about what might otherwise be a lower priority.”
Elizabeth Yuko, who teaches bioethics at Fordham University, said million dollar lotteries can be flashy, but there’s no evidence that they work better than prizes that offer more instant gratification. New Jersey reported on Monday that it administered 22,865 doses of the vaccine. Ohio says it distributed 14,734.
The Ohio jackpot “looks impressive, but it’s still a lottery, while a beer in your hand right now is, for some people, worth more than a million dollar chance than they are. probably won’t get it, ”Yuko said.
About 47% of New Jersey’s population has been fully immunized, a rate that is better than in all but five states, according to the Mayo Clinic. But there are cities where the figure is below 40%, including New Brunswick, Lakewood and Irvington, Murphy said Monday. He said he wanted the state to reach 70% by the end of July.
Anny Pastor, director of nursing for the North Jersey Community Research Initiative, has worked to immunize hard-to-reach populations in New Jersey, including homeless people and migrant workers in Newark and elsewhere. The pastor said New Jersey must “step up” its vaccination incentives if it wants a dramatic increase in its vaccinated population.
“Stop being so conservative,” the pastor said. “Everything that’s necessary.”
State Senator Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, said the vaccine itself should be enough for a draw.
“If you need more motivation than good health, then I don’t have much sympathy for you,” O’Scanlon said in a text message. “If you think vaccines work (and they do), be responsible and get vaccinated regardless of the incentives!”
Terrence T. McDonald is a reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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