California expected to roll out vaccination incentive program amid declining vaccination rates

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — As some states offer freebies or lottery tickets to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19, California leaders are set to roll out their own plan to do something similar.

There is a decline in the rate of vaccinations nationwide, which has prompted more incentive programs all over the country.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said California is also now starting to see a decline in the rate of inoculations, which is prompting his administration to take action with a statewide vaccine incentive program.

Newsom has said the plans could be rolled out as early as this week, hinting at the announcement in front of the state’s tourism committee last week.

“We’re looking at state overlays of incentives very soon. We were ready to do that a couple of weeks ago, but our numbers were holding pretty firmly,” Newsom said.

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidelines to no longer require masks for vaccinated Americans, Newsom said California has seen a decline in people wanting to get vaccinated.

“I think the message on the mask mandate, interestingly I think, did the opposite of what was intended, which was to encourage people to get vaccinated,” Newsom explained.

California will follow the CDC’s mask guidance beginning June 15 when state leaders plan to drop pandemic-related restrictions for most businesses.

The goal for public health officials is to get as many Californians as possible inoculated before that date. The latest state data showed 49.4% of California’s population have been fully vaccinated.

What the vaccine incentive will be in California and how it will be paid for has not been released.

States like Oregon, New York and Ohio are offering free lottery tickets to those who have been vaccinated. Other states like New Jersey and Illinois are offering free beer.

FOX40 reached out to the governor’s office for an update on California’s planned vaccination incentive program, and a spokesperson says the governor’s office will have more to share soon.

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