These States Are Renewing Incentives in Bid to Get More People Vaccinated

President Joe Biden last Thursday called on state and local governments to use funds from his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to offer $100 payments to individuals as incentive to get COVID-19 vaccinations.

Some officials quickly followed his guidance, while others announced their own new incentives or carried out ones already in place.

New York City was among the first to follow the president's suggestion. On Friday, the city started paying $100 to anyone who got a vaccine at a city-run site.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced that his state would give $100 to anyone 12 or older who get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from July 30 through August 15.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser prioritized getting the city's youth vaccinated with a new plan at three area vaccination sites, where students getting the shot will be eligible to win an iPad or a $25,000 college scholarship.

Bowser released details of the plan on Thursday, noting it will kick off on August 7. Currently, only about 25 percent of all eligible youth in the nation's capital are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

A week earlier, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced his state would begin drawings with $10,000 prizes to encourage residents to get vaccinated. The first drawing is scheduled for August 13, and it will be followed by drawings every two weeks until a final drawing on October 8.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine began a program in July that gives state employees $100 for getting the COVID-19 vaccine, while their spouses are eligible to receive $25.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced new incentives on July 22 for people statewide to receive gift cards worth up to $100 after their first shot.

Houston is also giving gift cards, in the amount of $25, for people who get fully vaccinated. Starting on Monday, the Houston Health Department will be giving away the gift cards to anyone who completes their vaccination series within 42 days of their first dose at a health department center or multi-service center clinic.

Illinois is continuing a program for vaccinated residents to be automatically entered in a $10 million vaccine sweepstakes. Vaccinated adults are entered into a $7 million cash prize pool, three $1 million jackpots and 40 $100,000 cash prizes, with drawings being held until the end of August.

Universities in some of the hardest-hit states, and the surge caused by the Delta variant, are also giving out incentives.

Auburn University in Alabama offers students a chance at winning a variety of prizes if they get vaccinated before the fall semester, including a $1,000 scholarship and an unlimited meal plan. The University of Alabama, Auburn's rival, is giving students $20 if they get vaccinated before returning to campus in late August.

In a creative bid to increase vaccinations among the state's youth, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announced it is sponsoring a TikTok contest for residents between the ages of 13 and 29. The video must include a message (or some other manner of communicating) describing, "This is why I got vaccinated." The video must be submitted to the ADPH by August 6, and four winners each will receive a $250 Visa gift card.

The U.S. is far from the only country offering incentives to get citizens vaccinated. The U.K.'s Department of Health and Social Care announced on Sunday a program that involves deals from restaurants, ride-hailing apps and food delivery services.

For anyone needing help finding out the incentives offered by their state and local officials, as well as from colleges and businesses, there's now an app to help track what's available nearby. The Vaccination Rewards app was created by Bright Mind Enrichment, and it aggregates hundreds of vaccine incentives from all over the U.S. The app also allows users to share the reward information for unvaccinated people they may know.

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States and local officials, as well as businesses and colleges, are announcing new incentives for people to get COVID-19 vaccines. Above, a man receives a COVID-19 vaccine. Getty Images