Are the COVID-19 vaccine incentives working?

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Nearly all of the active COVID-19 cases in Arkansas are among those who are not fully vaccinated according to Governor Asa Hutchinson.

In an effort to get more shots into the arms of Arkansans, the state launched a $2 million incentive plan in May, but the governor says it has not been very successful.

The incentive includes a $20 lottery ticket or an Arkansas Game & Fish Commission gift card for Arkansans choosing to get vaccinated.

It has not been effective in greatly incentivizing to do the vaccine…to be an effective incentive, it has to be immediate gratification and that was delayed in this instance.”

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R) ARKANSAS

As of Tuesday, June 29. 41.66% of Arkansans have been fully vaccinated.

According to the CDC, Arkansas is also among the 15 states with the lowest vaccination numbers nationwide.

Courtesy of: CDC COVID Data Tracker

Pharmacist Julie Stewart said this incentive did not cause much of an uptick at vaccines at Medical Arts Pharmacy in Fayetteville.

At the height of vaccine distribution in February, the pharmacy was giving up to 300 vaccines a day. Now, it is giving 10% of that, averaging 20-30 shots every day.

However, she remains hopeful these vaccines are adding up across Arkansas.

If Medical Arts Pharmacy is doing 20-30 a day then, hopefully, other pharmacies are doing that amount as well.”

JULIE STEWART, PHARMACIST, MEDICAL ARTS PHARMACY

If Medical Arts Pharmacy is doing 20-30 a day then, hopefully, other pharmacies are doing that amount as well.” Stewart said.

With less Arkansans giving the shots a shot, Governor Hutchinson said he does not see Arkansas doing this incentive program long-term and he does plan to let it wind down. As for when the program comes to an end, the Arkansas Department of Health has not released an official date yet.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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