We Vax, Rodgers Stays

As new takers for the COVID vaccines decline, it’s time to do stuff that creates incentives for demographic groups that are hesitant. Other states have gotten creative, so why not Wisconsin? Here are some ideas.

A vaccine lottery. Ohio just announced “Vax-a-Million”, a special one million dollar lottery drawing for each of the next five weeks. Only Buckeyes that have been vaxed may enter.

College scholarships. For young Ohioans, they can get entered in a lottery to win one of ten scholarships to Ohio public universities. This, of course, targets young people, a group that has been reluctant to vax.

Free hunting and fishing licenses. Maine is offering these to people who get vaxed. This is smart since it targets a group — older white guys — who are the most skeptical of the vaccination.

A shot and a beer. Seriously, people? New Jersey thought of this before we did? You get a shot and you get a coupon for a free beer. What’s not to like?

Packer season ticket lottery. Get vaxed and get entered in a drawing for two Packer season tickets. Heck, your chances would be better than just being the last guy on the waiting list. This alone might increase the vaccination rate by a factor of ten.

Here’s the deal: we get vaxed, he stays.

The Rodgers incentive. Aaron Rodgers could announce that when 90% of Wisconsinites are vaccinated he’ll make amends with the Pack and stay. This could be the most impactful public health strategy in the history of the human race.

God could announce that He/She/They will only let the vaccinated into heaven. This targets evangelical Christians who are among the most resistant groups. (Note: God and Aaron Rodgers are different beings.)

But seriously, folks. We’re getting close to a point where everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be. And there will be those who will just never do it. But there’s also a large group of people who are hesitant for any number of reasons and don’t discount those of us who just hate needles. Could the prospect of winning a million dollars make them overcome that? Could the certainty of a nice, cold beer to ease the pain do it? I don’t know, but what’s the harm in trying?


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

One thought on “We Vax, Rodgers Stays

  1. The beginning of a two-tiered society. If the vax is so great, why are incentives necessary? Maybe the hesitant unconsciously know something those who will not be vaccinated are aware of?


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