Cities, states experiment with incentives for vaccinations 

States and cities are experimenting with offering incentives and privileges for residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as concerns have mounted over the slowdown in vaccinations across the U.S.

Officials are turning to initiatives such as giving vaccine recipients payments through savings bonds, free drinks or gift cards to motivate Americans to get their COVID-19 shot.

West Virginia committed last week to giving those aged 16 to 35 who get the vaccine $100 in savings bonds, Connecticut plans to offer vaccine recipients one free drink with purchase of food and Detroit launched on Monday its program giving $50 prepaid debit cards to anyone who drives another person to get their vaccination, as long as they preregister.

These state and local governments are taking a page out of some businesses’ playbooks, including Krispy Kreme, which offers a free doughnut every day of 2021 to Americans who prove they got their shot.

Why this matters: Public health and psychology experts said these programs have the potential to bring in more people willing to get the vaccine and that incentives are worth a try to close the country’s gap in vaccinations.

The push for incentives comes as the average number of vaccines administered daily in the U.S. has been declining in recent days, which experts have attributed to a waning demand for vaccines after enthusiastic recipients have already gotten their shots.