Oklahoma should consider some kind of incentives to encourage residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after Oklahoma’s per capita COVID-19 vaccination rates have dropped to 11th worst in the nation.

Almost 20 states are finding ways to encourage their residents to become vaccinated against COVID-19. 

As Oklahoma reopens for business, many residents have shed their masks and aren't concerned about social distancing. The problem is, if Oklahoma is trying to reach herd immunity, there may not be enough people vaccinated for that to work.

State leaders are reluctant to launch an incentive program. The governor's spokeswoman said anyone who wants the vaccine is able to get one, and the governor believes it's unnecessary to incentivize vaccinations.

Other states are offering things like $5 million drawings, trucks, guns, full rides to state colleges, free amusement park tickets, employee bonuses, and hunting and fishing licenses.

Liza Greve, executive director of Oklahomans for Health and Parental Rights advocacy group, said she isn’t confident a lottery would sway a lot of vaccine-hesitant Oklahomans. Her group advocates for immunization parental choice.

Greve said some Oklahomans would get the vaccine for a chance to win, but some would not. Many Oklahomans are reluctant to get vaccinated because of concerns about side effects and what they view as a lack of reliable data. But we have only heard of very few cases in which a vaccine produced a negative reaction.

We want all of our friends, family and neighbors to live. Getting the vaccine is a simple decision. Just think about the 176 Muskogee County residents who lost their lives because of COVID-19. If they were given the vaccine, they might be alive today. 

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