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OUR VIEW: Vaccine incentives might be effective, even if there are plenty of skeptics

We asked a question on our Facebook page last week that brought in a lot of opinions. The question was whether or not Georgia should follow the lead of other states and offer an incentive to try to increase the number of people taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Based on the response to our question, most in Troup County believe the answer to that question is a big, fat no. A sampling of the responses included the following:

“Heck no! The very fact they are doing this should make you question it!!!!”

“NO! If you’re only doing it for a chance to win something, then you’re doing it for wrong reason.”

“The fact that they are bribing people to take it should be enough reason right there to question it.”

Not all of the responses were against an incentive to get people to take the vaccine, but the majority were.

We’ll be the first to agree that if you’re only taking the vaccine because you think you might win the lottery then you probably need to rethink your life choices. This vaccine is available for a pandemic that has killed millions of people worldwide. Just that alone should be enough to consider getting the vaccine, not money. However, we don’t think a vaccination incentive is a terrible idea. First off, it should be noted that even if an incentive is offered, it’s not like anyone will be forced to take the vaccine. Anyone who doesn’t want the vaccine can still sit out. 

People on the fence might decide to take the vaccine just for a chance to win a lot of money or some other prize, but the odds of winning would probably be low. Ultimately, every person would have to make their own decision, just as people do when they decide to purchase a lottery ticket.

We understand that people get a bad taste in their mouth when the government starts dangling money to convince them to do something they may not want to do. But it’s not just the government trying to get people to take the vaccine. The Braves have given out tickets to baseball games, and Kroger is doing a million dollar giveaway. There are plenty of businesses doing something special for people who are vaccinated.

The numbers prove that the vaccine must be working, as COVID-19 numbers have reached a pandemic-level low.

We’re not sure incentives hurt anything. Everyone can weigh the offer and determine if it’s worth it.  If the answer is no, then so be it, but we don’t see the harm in adding an incentive.