What does it take to convince people to get vaccinated against Covid? From free donuts to million dollar payouts, public and private groups try everything.
Back in March, Krispy Kreme was one of the first to introduce a nationwide Covid vaccine incentive, offering a free glazed donut to every adult with a vaccination card.
Since then, the company has given away more than 1.5 million donuts. (The offer is still valid for the rest of the year.)
“We were the first national brand to campaign to help Americans choose to vaccinate, and we hoped others would join in,” said Dave Skena, chief marketing officer at Krispy Kreme.
More from Personal Finance:
Are you suffering from sticker shock after Covid?
Do these steps before you start spending after the pandemic
More and more universities are demanding Covid vaccines
“That’s why it’s very gratifying to see so many companies, organizations, communities and even state governments encourage and incentivize people to protect themselves and others with vaccinations.”
While some states like New Jersey and Connecticut are offering a free beer or soft drink to encourage more people to get vaccinated against Covid, others like Ohio and Maryland have gone much further.
Last week, Maryland hosted the first of its $ 40,000 lottery draws for people who have been vaccinated. There will be 40 consecutive days of drawings for a price of $ 40,000, ending on July 4th with a final drawing for a payout of $ 400,000.
Ohio also holds a number of cash prize draws, though its “Vax-a-Million” competition puts the stakes up significantly.
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that roughly half the US population has received at least one vaccination – and yet the pace of Covid vaccinations has slowed nationwide.
Incentives could become increasingly important to get the needle moving from here, according to Bob Bollinger, professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and inventor of the Emocha Health app.
“It really depends on what barriers people have to get vaccinated,” said Bollinger. The higher these barriers are, the harder they are to overcome, he added.
A handful of states have reported that vaccination incentive programs have increased local vaccination rates in some populations following recent declines.
For its part, Ohio said its vaccination rates doubled in some counties after the state vaccine lottery was announced.
Recent data shows that the gambit might be more effective for certain demographics, but has few overall drawbacks, according to a report by Morning Consult.
The survey of 2,200 adults, including nearly 1,600 unvaccinated people, found that men are more likely than women to say that these offers would get them to sign up for a vaccination. Democrats, more than Republicans, also said they were more likely to get vaccinated if they could get free goods or services.
A previous survey by Blackhawk Network found that more than two-thirds of adults said they would accept a monetary incentive of as little as $ 10 to $ 1,000. A third said they would get vaccinated for $ 100 or less. Blackhawk Network surveyed more than 2,000 adults in January.
Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.