In the latest awkward and cringeworthy "incentive" aimed at battling "vaccine hesitancy" the state of New York is now offering all residents who receive the COVID-19 vaccine for the first time next week a "free state lottery ticket" in a new program dubbed Vax & Scratch (no this is not satire).
The Hill details that "The program will give a free New York Lottery scratch-off ticket for the Mega Multiplier Lottery to any individuals over the age of 18 who get vaccinated at certain locations across the state between May 24 and May 28."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the initiative which will reward a $5 million first prize - down to the smallest amount of $20, which means "The chances of winning something in this program is one in nine," according to Cuomo's announcement wherein he further declared "everyone wins" given the efforts toward herd immunity. The pilot program starts Monday and is for those individuals who will receive either their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson jab at select designated locations.
It comes amid a blitz of multiple "rewards" programs and incentives geared toward trying to get more of the population inoculated as headed into summer there is a reported surplus of vaccines, also as coronavirus infection numbers are on the decline nationally, and doubt and hesitancy about the vaccine are on the rise.
Last week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was widely mocked on social media and in some national news stories when he stuffed his face with a burger and fries while in the middle of mouth-fulls offering New Yorkers "free fries" at Shake Shack if they get the jab...
Mayor de Blasio followed up days ago by holding out "personal freedom" as the ultimate reward for getting vaxxed (somehow assuming that citizens don't already fully possess their personal freedoms): "Vaccination equals personal freedom. And vaccination equals freedom from COVID for all of us," he stated.
All of the bizarre optics suggest Americans will be busy trading one health and wellness crisis for another. To recap, so far New Yorkers have been presented with supposedly "healthy" images of "freedom" as the ability to consume large quantities of greasy fries and burgers while at the same time greedily scratching off their lotto tickets.
Other states like Ohio have also tried the lottery incentive, with MSNBC quipping that represents "bribery at it's best".
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Meanwhile, also this week there's this timely headline warning of possible "dangers" of these activities in combination...