HONOLULU(KHON2) — Get vaccinated and secure a chance to win up to $5,000! That’s the latest from the state’s #HIGotVaccinated campaign, extended through August.
But is the campaign really working?
The state is pushing hard to vaccinate as many people as possible. According to the Department of Health, it is an uphill battle, even with alluring incentives. Officials are hoping cash prizes will make a difference.
The number of people getting vaccinated was steadily declining before the campaign began, according to Healthcare Association of Hawaii president Hilton Raethel.
“Since the launch, that decline has been reversed and stabilized,” Raethel explained. “The campaign and the promotions contributed to an increase of about 30% more people initiating vaccination over what was predicted resulting in about 21,500 additional vaccinations to date.”
Raethel said it is helping, but not the numbers are not where they really want them to be. So is the campaign and effort cost-effective?
“If the outreach, if the education, if it saves one life, I would say it is cost effective,” Department of Health Communications Brooks Baehr said. “And we believe it’s done more than that.”
He said the campaign does not cost the state a thing, but added that setting up vaccination sites is very expensive. And the turnout at some sites has been very low.
“They’re out there for four hours and they administered just eight shots,” Baehr said. “Compare that to the incentive campaign where businesses have come forward and volunteered their help.”
Reaching the 70% goal is proving harder than expected, even with enticing incentives. They are now throwing cash into the equation, hoping that will bring the numbers up.
American Savings Bank Director of Community Advancement Michelle Bartell said they are excited to be a part of the program and eager to offer the first cash prize.
“Three lucky winners, $5,000 a piece,” Bartell said.
Anyone in Hawaii can now call 2-1-1 to receive help in entering the contest over the phone. The free and confidential helpline is equipped to assist callers in more than 240 languages through translation services.