Hawaii poised to join a growing list of states offering incentives for people to get vaccinated

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 6:02 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is preparing to join a growing list of states offering up incentives for people to get vaccinated.

Nearly 1.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered across the state.

“We have to have 2 million shots to get all the way there,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green. “So these last 500,000 doses are going to be a little bit more difficult.”

To help Hawaii get there, the state and local businesses are set to offer up prizes in an effort to motivate people to roll up their sleeves.

“Hawaii’s business community has been a true partner throughout the pandemic,” said Department of Health spokesperson Brooks Baehr.

“They are taking the lead in this effort to work with the Department of Health and provide incentives that may engage and excite people,”

Specific details are still in the works.

But officials with the Hawaii Restaurant Association and the Retail Merchants of Hawaii both confirm they’ve been asked to find businesses willing to donate incentive gifts.

That’s not all.

“My team is going to reach out to some hotels over in Las Vegas and see if they’d be willing to offer some nights over on the Ninth Island,” said Green.

Several other states have already launched incentive programs.

In Maine, vaccinated residents can get a free hunting or fishing license. Over in West Virginia, folks who get the shot can chose between a $100 savings bond or a $100 gift certificate.

Meanwhile, states like Ohio, New York, Maryland and Kentucky are offering eligibility for cash prizes.

Oregon also just announced it’s offering a shot at a $1 million lottery jackpot. Minors who get the vaccine are entered into a separate drawing for five $100,000 scholarships.

Green said Hawaii’s incentive program is currently being vetted by attorneys.

“It’s going to be big and it’s going to be generous.”

He added, “Probably about a week or two from now I would expect some of these fun announcement to come.”

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