Under consideration: $100 gift card as incentive to get more people vaccinated

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Want to earn some extra cash? Kansas could soon pay you to get the COVID vaccine. KDHE said it wants to give people a $100 gift card to get the COVID-19 vaccine. They said incentives are a proven way to get more people the shot.

“We see that incentives are working,” said Dr. Marcy Nielsen, the COVID-19 coordination chief advisor for the State of Kansas.

Dr. Nielsen said money and free items get people interested in the vaccine, so they are working on getting bigger bucks.

“We would like to move that up to $100,” said Dr. Nielsen.

The goal is to improve vaccine numbers in counties that are lagging.

“For Reno county, we have 42.75% of our residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine,” said Karla Nichols, the Reno County Health director.

Nichols said they are offering coupons to local restaurants when people get the vaccine.

But Nichols said, so far, the best incentive isn’t cash or gifts. It’s knowledge.

“We want to take the time to give them that education and encourage them to get the vaccine,” said Nichols.

Reno County Commissioner Daniel Friesen said it wasn’t a free handout that pushed him to get his first shot last week. Rather, it was his discussion with doctors and officials.

“If I’m going to advocate for the health department and our local medical community, I ought to at least make myself an example,” said Friesen.

Dr. Nielson said it will still be a few weeks until we might see those $100 gift cards available. However, in Sedgwick County, incentives like free Wind Surge tickets are starting up.

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