Jeramey Jannene

Get Vaccinated, Get $100 From State

Gov. Evers announces incentive payment. And FDA issues full authorization for Pfizer's vaccine.

By - Aug 23rd, 2021 02:33 pm
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. photo by Lisa Ferdinando. U.S. Secretary of Defense, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. photo by Lisa Ferdinando. U.S. Secretary of Defense, (CC BY 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

A push to increase the vaccination rate in Wisconsin received two boosts Monday.

Governor Tony Evers announced that any Wisconsin residents who receive their first COVID-19 vaccine shot between August 23 and September 6 would receive a free $100 Visa gift card. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also granted full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“As our kids start returning back to school, and with the Delta variant spreading rapidly across the state, we all need to step up and stop the spread, and our COVID-19 vaccines are the best tools we have to do just that,” said Evers in a statement. “From now through Labor Day, if you’re a Wisconsin resident and you get your first COVID-19 shot here in the state, you will get 100 bucks. It’s that simple: get vaccinated, get $100.

To claim the $100 reward, residents will need to fill out the form at 100.wisconsin.gov. More information, including language assistance, is available by calling the Wisconsin Department of Health Services at 844-684-1064.

Those receiving a second dose or a booster shot are not eligible.

While the vaccine shots are always free, Evers’ announcement explicitly acknowledges that the cash incentive is in partial recognition that some people may encounter issues with transportation, childcare or paid work leave when getting a shot.

Ohio was the first state to offer a financial vaccine incentive. The state introduced a $1 million lottery with the first drawings taking place in late May. But the percentage of Ohio residents vaccinated still lags Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, DHS and other local health departments have offered different non-cash incentives to encourage vaccination. The Milwaukee Health Department and Milwaukee Bucks hosted a multiple pre-game lottery for free playoff tickets, including for an NBA Finals game. But the effort only drew 19 takers to a game where tickets were going for more than $1,000 each. DHS offered free cream puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair earlier this month and vaccinated 691 people as a result. A number of bars have hosted “shots for shots” type of event where free drinks are offered for those receiving vaccine doses.

One of the reasons people have cited for avoiding the vaccine was removed Monday. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine received full authorization, an upgrade from its December “emergency authorization” for people 16 and older (authorization for children 12 and older came in May). Full approval is currently only for those 16 and older.

“I am hopeful this approval will help increase confidence in our vaccine, as vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives and achieve herd immunity,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in a statement.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. in a press release.

According to DHS data, 53.7%  of Wisconsin residents (3.13 million) have received at least one dose of any of the three vaccines.

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Categories: Health, Weekly

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