- 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.
- From alcohol and event tickets, to a $1 million jackpot, local and state officials have announced unique offerings.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Perhaps no vaccine incentive is more desirable than one million dollars.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week the state will run five $1 million lottery draws each week from May 26 to June 23.
Each week, one adult who has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or the single Johnson & Johnson shot, will be eligible for the million-dollar jackpot in the state’s lottery draw.
The jackpot will be drawn by the Ohio State Lottery and comes from the state’s share of coronavirus relief funds.
Younger residents aged 12 to 18, who just this week became eligible for the vaccine, will not be in the drawing for a million dollars, but will have the opportunity to be entered into a draw for a four-year full scholarship to any state college or university, tuition and accommodation included.
New Orleans is offering residents one free pound of crawfish in return for getting vaccinated at a free, city-wide event.
The New Orleans City Council organized the event on May 13, which they’ve advertised with the slogan, “1 shot for 1 pound.”
The promotion is a partnership with a local business incubator and attendees will receive both a vaccine — either Moderna or Johnson & Johnson — and a free pound of boiled crawfish. The first 30 people in line will also receive a free gift card.
Some Detroit residents are able to receive a $50 prepaid debit card.
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.
Alabamans who get tested and/or vaccinated at an event later this month will get to take two laps around the state’s legendary Talladega Superspeedway.
On May 15, anybody 16 or older who opts to get tested and/or vaccinated at an Alabama Department of Public Health event will be able to drive their own car or truck around the fastest track in NASCAR at “highway speed.”
Members of the state’s National Guard will administer the shots as part of a campaign by state officials to ramp up the number of vaccinations.
City leaders in Memphis, Tennessee, are running a sweepstakes for a new car for anyone who gets vaccinated.
Shelby County residents over the age of 18 who have received at least one COVID-19 dose of a vaccine will be eligible to enter a giveaway of a brand-new vehicle of their choice.
Options include a Chevy Camaro, Chevy Colorado, Nissan Rogue, and Nissan Altima. Local officials will confirm people’s eligibility with their immunization record card.
New Jersey residents 21 and older who get a vaccine will be gifted a free brewski at participating locations in the state.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced earlier this month vaccine recipients aged 21 and older who get their first shot this month can take part in the state’s “Shot and a Beer” program.
At participating locations throughout the Garden State, recipients will get a free glass of beer after receiving their jab.
“We need that push,” Dr. Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, told ABC News. “You have to find a way to motivate people. This is one way to do it.”
Vaccinated residents of Connecticut will be able to get one free drink between May 19 and May 31, according to a state webpage.
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.
Vaccinated New York residents have the opportunity to score double the prizes – baseball tickets and a free subway pass.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this month announced a promotion that would exchange a COVID-19 vaccine for free tickets to Mets Games and Yankees Games this spring.
Newly vaccinated people have the opportunity to score tickets to the Mets between May 24 and June 17 and the Yankees from May 7 to June 6.
But, that’s not all!
New Yorkers who get vaccinated at one of the Department of Health’s pop-up vaccination sites through the weekend of May 15-16 will receive a free 7-day MetroCard or two one-way tickets.
And if New Yorkers don’t already have enough of a reason to get vaccinated, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced this week the immunized can score free Shake Shack fries as well.
The popular fast-food chain has teamed up with the New York City mayor’s office to ramp up vaccinations.
Until June 12, the inoculated who show their vaccination card can nab a free order of crinkle cut fries with the purchase of a burger or sandwich at several New York City Shake Shack locations.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced any resident between the ages 16 and 35 will receive a $100 savings bond in exchange for getting vaccinated.
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, to fund the savings bond initiative.
Randolph County, Illinois is offering free shooting target practice to those who get immunized at a mobile vaccine site located at the Worldwide Shooting and Recreation Complex.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced earlier this month that the state’s popular shooting range will be the site of a mobile vaccination site on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15.
The state’s National Guard will be operation the site and anyone 18 and older who gets jabbed at the range will also receive 100 free targets of trap, skeet, or sporting clays for use at the recreation complex, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.
Harris County in Texas has set aside $250,000 to divvy up as incentives for vaccinated individuals.
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?'”
Long Beach, California, officials are offering two free tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacifid to anyone who gets their first vaccines.
Long Beach residents who get inoculated through Saturday will receive two tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Tickets to the popular destination usually cost $36.95.
“While we have made tremendous strides in vaccinating 60% of eligible Long Beach residents and 96% of our seniors, we know that vaccine hesitancy for some is real,” Mayor Robert Garcia told local media. “We are going to do everything we can to encourage folks to get vaccinated, and that includes incentives.”
Chicago is experimenting with a Vax Pass that will offer vaccinated individuals a chance to attend concerts and events.
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.