Provincial NDP leader Ryan Meili has an idea to increase vaccine uptake in Saskatchewan
Saying there is clear evidence the rollout plan Saskatchewan has, he wants the government to adopt a “Last Mile Lottery” in an attempt to get some of those who are hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine an incentive.
Under Meili’s proposal, every Saskatchewan resident who receives two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be entered into a draw for $25,000 – roughly the same as the cost of admitting a COVID-19 patient into a hospital intensive care unit.
The lottery being proposed would be one component of a “Last Mile Strategy” that also includes a plan to reach out proactively to those who haven’t received their first dose yet ormade an appointment, offering mobile clinics in areas of low vaccine uptake which is offered in a public space and replicating that strategy for the second dose to ensure the highest possible rate of full vaccination in Saskatchewan.
Several US states and companies have been offering payouts for vaccinations with similar lotteries.
The government is saying thanks, but no thanks to the idea. In a statement, health minister Paul Merriman says that protecting yourself and those around you from COVID -19 and ensuring Saskatchewan can reopen safely are pretty strong incentives for everyone to get vaccinated and that no incentives for getting vaccinated will be created.