Gov. Tony Evers on Friday called for more Wisconsinites to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but said he’s not interested in using the state’s federal stimulus dollars to launch a lottery to promote more vaccinations, such as an Ohio program that will award $1 million each week to an adult who has received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Evers’ opposition to such a program comes after telling reporters earlier in the week he would “never say never” to using federal stimulus dollars to compensate people to get a vaccine.
An Evers spokesperson added later Friday that Evers is still considering general incentives for vaccinations, but that he doesn’t agree with Ohio’s $5 million lottery system that uses existing pandemic funds. In random drawings, Ohio will also provide five full four-year scholarships to an Ohio public university — including tuition, room-and-board and books — to vaccinated residents under 18.
“I just question the use of that money for that purpose,” Evers said. “I think there’s a lot of businesses and others across the state that have suffered dramatically, and $1 million would go a long way to help get small businesses get back in place.”
Increasingly, states and municipalities have come up with a variety of ways to promote vaccinations. New Jersey is offering a “shot and a beer,” Detroit is providing $50 prepaid cards to anyone who drives a resident to a vaccine site, and Maryland is offering a $100 payment.