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Is incentivizing people to get a COVID-19 vaccine a good idea?

(Photo by Ricardo Ceppi / Getty Images)

Gov. Inslee has announced the state is incentivizing people in Washington to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But is that a good idea?

Rep. Kelly Chambers (R-Puyallup) tells KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show she doesn’t have an objection to an incentive. She has an objection to a mandate.

“Providing people information and letting them make that decision is important,” Chambers said. “If people have reservations for good reason — I mean, this came to market very quickly — I understand people’s hesitancy.”

Jason wonders if incentives seem coercive, just one step away from a mandate.

“Some incentives could be coercive. I don’t think I’ve seen a lot of that. And some just, quite frankly, don’t rise to the level of being compelling enough for me, personally,” Chambers replied.

For instance, 20% off a hot dog wouldn’t motivate Rep. Chambers to get vaccinated. But if you’re going to get it anyway, why not also snag a scratch ticket?

The incentives program in Washington is retroactive and includes:

  • Lottery cash drawings, with prizes totaling $2 million
  • Higher education tuition and expense assistance
  • Sports tickets and gear
  • Gift cards
  • Airline tickets
  • Game systems and smart speakers

In a lot of cases, prizes will be drawn from the Washington State Department of Health’s immunization database to determine winners.

Chambers said she’s more concerned about making sure people in Pierce County can easily get a vaccine if they choose to do so.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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