Would free food or money motivate you to get vaccinated? Austin health officials are exploring the idea

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — We are learning new details about the possibility of rewarding Central Texans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this week, Austin Public Health officials suggested incentives may get more people vaccinated. They are now exploring what those incentives might look like.

“My hope is those businesses are listening, and that they are thinking about ways of how they can contribute to help Austin be a healthier place,” said APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard.

The group is in talks with local companies about offering incentives such as coupons, free food, beverages and even money.

Outgoing Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said the best way to motivate people to get vaccinated may not be monetary incentives but rather less COVID-19 restrictions.

“What I mean by that is freedoms or relaxation for those who’ve been fully vaccinated. That is certainly something that we’re looking at from the policy side as well,” he said.

He said if more people are vaccinated, then Austin can enter Stage 2 of its COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines.

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