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Can Incentives Sway the Vaccine-Hesitant?

With the pace of vaccinations slowing in the U.S., some states and cities are turning to perks — from free beer to cash — to reach those reluctant to get their shot. 

If you’re reluctant to get a shot, would a free beer change your mind? How about $50? 

If you’re reluctant to get a shot, would a free beer change your mind? How about $50? 

Photographer: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Though West Virginia got a fast start on its vaccination rollout and expanded Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to residents as young as 16 on March 22, the pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, especially among young adults. With less than half of its eligible population one dose in, this cohort represents a major threat to tamping down disease — and a barrier to reaching Governor Jim Justice’s goal of inoculating more than 70% of the state. 

“West Virginians from 16 to 35 years of age are transmitting this thing faster than anyone,” Justice said in a press conference on April 28. “How many people are we going to have to put in body bags? How many people are going to have to die?”