When shaming, pressure and threats don't work, try offering incentives. That's the latest philosophy from leaders looking to get more Americans vaccinated against coronavirus, with about a third of U.S. adults still either hesitant or resistant to taking the shot. Now, some vaccine sites are offering food, prizes or other goodies to those who get vaccinated. Houston's NRG Park vaccination site is entering people in drawings to win tickets to concerts and events.
But is it really necessary to bribe people to get the vaccines? Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a private practice surgeon and senior fellow at the CATO Institute, doesn't think so. "One would hope that a lot of the people who are hesitant or skeptical, after seeing all the people who are being vaccinated and not having any problems, that they would be less reluctant," he tells KTRH. "We've had 100 million people fully vaccinated so far, and no deaths related to the vaccination, and very, very minimal adverse reactions."
Dr. Singer believes the best sales pitch for the vaccine is not free food or concert tickets, but a return to normalcy. "We should tell people the sooner we reach this herd immunity that we're looking for, the sooner we can get all of these restrictions and limitations on our life behind us and get back to normal," he says.
Dr. Singer also believes leaders like the president could incentivize more vaccinations simply by taking off their masks. "President Biden could have stood before Congress and said none of us are wearing masks, and that's because we've all been immunized, it's like normal," he says. "Then he could have said to folks at home, if you haven't gotten immunized yet, get immunized so it will be normal for you too...but he hasn't done that."