Will the COVID vaccine sweepstakes motivate Michigan residents to get vaccinated?

Health experts weigh in on state’s new incentives to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19

Will a vaccine sweepstakes motivate people?
Will a vaccine sweepstakes motivate people?

DETROIT – Is the chance to win part of $5 million enough to push Michigan residents to get vaccinated?

For millions of Americans the incentive of not getting COVID was more than enough motivation to get vaccinated. But there’s still a substantial chunk of people who need more.

Dr. Brian Zikmund-Fisher is a professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

He said sweepstakes will motivate some, but not everyone.

“It’s not probably going to change the minds of somebody who has really got lots of explicit concerns about the vaccine or for whatever reason really have a hard no. But it is potentially going to make a difference for the people for whom they just haven’t gotten around to it, they haven’t had a reason to make that extra effort to get vaccinated and this gives them a reason to do so,” Zikmund-Fisher said.

He believes the scholarship component may be particularly effective.

“The costs of college are significant and that could be a really strong motivator,” he said.

He said a sweepstakes may help, but it’s not the final answer. He said the larger theme is that you need to get the vaccine to people instead of trying to get the people to the vaccine.

He said meeting the people where they are also provides the opportunity to address some of the lingering fears and concerns that people have about the vaccines. That’s something a sweepstakes won’t fix.

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About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.