As of today, about 136 million Americans (41.5% of the population) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To encourage more to get the poke, 18 states have rolled out incentive programs for vaccinated residents. Although Ohio dominated national headlines with its $1 million lottery, it’s hardly the incentive package we’re most interested in.
Maine, as discussed on Episode 275 of the MeatEater Podcast, is doling out fishing licenses, hunting licenses, state park passes, and wildlife park passes. Similarly, Arkansas is distributing $20 Arkansas Game and Fish gift cards that can be used to purchase fishing and hunting licenses.
West Virginia is the latest state to join the trend, entering vaccinated residents into a lottery that will draw for state park “weekend getaways,” lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, custom hunting rifles, custom hunting shotguns, and brand-new, custom-outfitted pickups.
West Virginia Republican Governor Jim Justice said the incentive programs are about the safety of his residents. “The prizes to me are secondary to the fact that we’re trying to save your life,” Justice said in a press conference. “The faster we get them across the finish line, the more lives we save.”
More states are expected to follow in the footsteps of Maine, Arkansas, West Virginia, and others. To see what your state is offering, check out the National Governors Association’s updated list.