Some states are getting creative as they look to incentivize Americans to go out and get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Across the country, states are offering lottery tickets, free drinks, vacations, custom weapons, scholarships, and even marijuana as the race continues to meet President Joe Biden’s promise of getting 70 percent of adults at least partially vaccinated by Independence Day.
In Connecticut, the state’s Restaurant Association is partnering with Gov. Ned Lamont to launch its #CTDrinksOnUs campaign, where participating restaurants provide complimentary drinks to vaccinated patrons.
New Jersey had its “Shot and a Beer” program, where any eligible resident who got their first vaccination and visited a participating brewery got a free beer.
They also have a “Tax and Visit” program running through July 4 where the Department of Environmental Protection will offer a State Parks Vax Pass – allowing free access to State parks, including Island Beach State Park – good through Dec. 31, 2021.
New York provided free tickets to Mets and Yankees games for newly vaccinated people, as well as free weekly subway passes as part of a program with the MTA.
Another program includes providing free NYS Lottery scratch-off tickets with a $5 million grand prize, and a third that provided a free two-day pass to any state park in New York.
Other incentive programs making the news lately include the “Joints for Jabs” in Washington state, where anyone getting a shot will receive a pre-rolled joint, or Arizona, where a cannabis dispensary is handing out joints and gummy edibles for those getting vaccinated.
The Talledega Superspeedway in Alabama offered anyone getting vaccinated over the age of 16 the chance to drive their car or truck on the track behind a pace car, and lotteries or potential scholarships are also being offered in Arkansas, California, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington.
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