Trips to Vegas, Zippy’s for a year: Hawaii offers incentives to bolster vaccinations

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Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 1:32 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 4:20 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state launched a new vaccination incentive program Friday as part of a broad push to get more people to roll up their sleeves.

Prizes in the campaign include trips to Las Vegas, Hawaiian Airlines miles and free Zippy’s for a year. You can also show your vaccination card at a number of businesses for a discount.

The incentive program is dubbed HI Got Vaccinated.

And the idea is simple: “If you get at least the first shot by the end of the month. You can enter and join this movement,” said Health Department spokesman Brooks Baehr.

Hawaii residents 18 and up can enter to win dozens of prizes. Those previously vaccinated can also register. And the state expects to announce the first winner ― of 100,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles ― as early as next week.

Shortly after its launch Friday, there was so much traffic to the program’s website ― ― that it crashed within minutes. It’s now back up.

“I’ve been told this website was launched with the absolutely broadest bandwidth possible,” Baehr said. “And it was absolutely crushed right away.”

Prizes in the program include:

  • 100,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles
  • A pair of roundtrip tickets from Alaska Airlines
  • A one-year auto lease from Autosource
  • Zippy’s for a year
  • A Vacations Hawaii Las Vegas package for two
  • $1,000 in catering from L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
  • $1,000 gift certificate to Pearl City Shopping Center
  • Dinner for six at any one of four Merriman’s locations

Alongside the prizes and discounts, the state says there are plans to make getting the vaccine more convenient than ever. In June, some 300 vaccine clinics are planned statewide, including at malls, farmers markets and churches. Hours will also be expanded at neighborhood clinics.

“Hawaii continues to lead the nation in the lowest number per capita in COVID cases and fatalities,” Gov. David Ige said, at a news conference.

“The best way for ‘back to normal’ is to get vaccinated.”

Hawaii is the latest state to launch an incentives program to encourage more people to get vaccinated. The federal program is also touting a number of freebies to bolster vaccinations.

Lyft and Uber are providing free rides to vaccination sites. And if you need someone to watch your kids while you’re getting the shot, many YMCA and KinderCare locations are offering free child care.

Vaccinations have dramatically slowed in Hawaii, though the state is still ahead of the rest of the nation in getting shots in arms. Nationwide, demand for the shot has also declined.

As of Friday, about 52% of Hawaii residents were vaccinated while 59% had gotten at least one shot.

This story will be updated.

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