Should Idaho Offer a $1 Million Bribe to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19?
Don't laugh. There's a state that's actually doing this. Would an offer like this be enough to sway some vaccine hesitant Idahoans opinion?
When the COVID-19 vaccine became available to any Idahoan age 16 and older, I pounced on the chance to get mine. It was the right personal choice for me. I'm tired of fist bumps and air fives. I want to be able to hug our listeners again and it not be weird. I went to college during the Swine Flu pandemic and there was an outbreak on my campus. As soon as our student health center offered the vaccine on campus, I got it. To me, choosing to get vaccinated is nothing but a replay of 2009.
But vaccine hesitancy is real and I respect that. My own husband falls into that bucket. It's one of the driving forces behind why Idaho's pacing behind the national average for vaccinated individuals. As of this afternoon, 44.7% of eligible Idahoans have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 38.8% have completed their doses. Nationally, 57.4% of eligible recipients have gotten at least one dose. 43.6% have completed their doses.
Idaho Health and Welfare would like to see 80% of eligible vaccine recipients get their shots by September so we have a long way to go. To get there, it's obviously going to take some vaccine hesitant individuals changing their minds. What would that take?
In Ohio, where they're pacing even further behind than Idaho, their governor hopes that it would take a $1 million bribe. For whatever reason, I never unfollowed my hometown's television news outlets when I moved to Boise so I happened to see this article from NBC affiliate, WFMJ in my newsfeed.
During his most recent coronavirus update, Governor Mike DeWine, announced monetary incentives for people who choose to get vaccinated. There's two different drawings the Buckeye state will use to sway the vaccine hesitant or reward those who got their shots as soon as they could.
- Kids 12-17 who've received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine approved for their age group can enter a drawing for a full ride to any state college or university. Five winners will be selected.
- Adults 18+ who've received at least one dose of the vaccine can enter a drawing for $1 million. Five winners will be selected.
The drawings are being sponsored by their health department and executed by their state lottery commission. The prize money will be taken out of federal coronavirus funds the state received.
I wouldn't say no to $1 million, but then again, I wasn't hesitant about getting the vaccine. Would the chance of that kind of money be enough to get you to change your mind if you are? We want to know, so vote in our poll.