State employees who get vaccinated in Maryland are eligible for a $100 payment, while Detroit is giving out $50 prepaid debit cards to those who give someone a ride to a vaccine site.
By Neil Vigdor
Scoring a dose of the coronavirus vaccine in America, once the equivalent of a winning lottery ticket, has started to resemble something else: a clearance sale.
So much so that some states and cities, which are struggling to fill appointments as the demand for vaccine wanes, are turning to an array of not-so-subtle incentives to get shots into the arms of more Americans.
New Jersey is offering a “shot and a beer” for residents who get their first vaccine dose in May and visit participating breweries in the state. Detroit is giving out $50 prepaid cards to anyone who drives a resident to a vaccine site. And as an enticement for state employees to get the vaccine, Maryland is offering a $100 payment, Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Monday.
“Incentives like this are another way to reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated, and we strongly encourage businesses across the state to consider offering incentives to their workers as well,” Mr. Hogan, a Republican, said in a statement. “These vaccines are safe and effective, they’re free, and they’re readily available with or without an appointment.”
The strategy comes as public health experts acknowledge that the United States is unlikely to achieve herd immunity, the point at which enough Americans have either been vaccinated or infected to mitigate the virus.
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