Covid-19 makes a comeback through incentives


The Covid-19 virus has affected thousands globally over the past year and a half. Across the U.S., many Americans are able to get various incentives for getting their vaccine. In New York, the vaccine is strongly encouraged.

Shea Edwards

Covid-19 has affected thousands globally. However, in mid-December 2020, the world saw a glimpse of hope. The Pfizer vaccine was made available to the public, and though some were apprehensive, hundreds got the vaccine when they were first able. The vaccine was then slowly released to different age groups, starting with the most elderly and vulnerable, in phases.  

Now, in mid-December 2021, various programs and events are returning after being absent throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of these, including schools, restaurants, theatres, workplaces, concerts and festivals, encourage or require the Covid-19 vaccine through incentives such as gift cards or free access to events like Music Midtown. These incentives, however, shouldn’t be available for those who get the vaccine solely for the event itself.

It is unfair that the people who resisted the vaccine, something that protects yourself and others, are being rewarded when those who got it early on are not. The people who were apprehensive of the vaccine may have had good reason, but it doesn’t make the incentive fair to give them. 

Soon before Music Midtown began, the festival controversially decided to give out free tickets for those who got the vaccine just for the event. While Music Midtown was attempting to do something that would get more people vaccinated, the people who should get free tickets are those who were already vaccinated. 

In New York, all city employees were required to get the Covid-19 vaccine to return to work. The employees who got the vaccine after this mandate was announced received a $500 bonus. Those who got the vaccine earlier received no bonus. This is unfair and unjust. The people who got the vaccine as soon as it was available to them because they wanted to return to work as soon as possible got no bonus for doing so. 

Recently, Atlanta Public Schools has begun to offer incentives for students 5 and older who get the vaccine at an APS site. The incentive includes gift cards ranging from $50 to $100. The incentive is not, however, available to those getting the booster vaccine shot. This could cause people to wait to get the vaccine or the booster shot because of a potential incentive. Because the booster doesn’t fit the requirements for this particular incentive, it promotes the wait for advancements that could help protect people from Covid-19. 

Theaters on Broadway in New York require the vaccine to view a show. Vaccinated people must show their vaccine card and an approved ID, like a driver’s license, upon arrival before entering a theater. Though they aren’t offering incentives, this helps promote the vaccine without giving any reward to those who only got it to view the show. This is a good way to promote the vaccine without rewarding those who don’t deserve it. 

When people are young, they are rewarded for good behavior like eating all of their broccoli or sharing their toys with their siblings, but this new incentive phenomenon has, in a way, promoted the opposite for adults: bad behavior.