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Public Safety

San Diegans Hope To Win Big With Vaccine Incentives

Nurse is pictured talking to a local at the MTS Transit Center vaccine clinic on May 28, 2021.
Alexandra Rangel
Nurse is pictured talking to a local at the MTS Transit Center vaccine clinic on May 28, 2021.

The state of California is hoping to reach herd immunity by offering cash prizes to those who get vaccinated, but will the incentives actually encourage people to get the shot?

UC San Diego behavioral scientist and marketing expert On Amir said incentives can bring promising results, but it’s all about how it’s presented to the public.

He said those who have reservations about the vaccine may need a more emotionally compelling approach.

“It really matters how they are framed. If this is framed as a raffle piñata and things like that it might have a more limited effect," Amir said.

The state estimates 12 million eligible Californians have not been vaccinated yet.

VIDEO: San Diegans Hope to Win Big With Vaccine Incentives

Nicole Dhital, 15, believes it will give some people the push they need.

“I feel like its a good way to get more people, to just encourage more people to get vaccinated," she said.

Her parents told her about the cash up for grabs. Although winning big sounds exciting, she thinks it’s highly unlikely she’ll take the jackpot home.

“I don't know it’s just like a bonus, but that shouldn't be the only reason you're getting vaccinated, honestly,” she said.

Dhital’s reason is her elderly grandparents who she wants to help protect.

She was one of dozens of people who got vaccinated at a clinic at the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Center on Friday.

The county helped operate the free vaccine clinic in efforts to bring vaccines to transit riders.

For an added incentive, MTS is offering free rides to those who can show proof of a vaccine appointment scheduled for the same day.