Will California pay people to get vaccinated? Newsom teases announcement coming soon

ByAlix Martichoux and Luz Pena KGO logo
Friday, May 21, 2021
Will CA pay people to get vaccines? Newsom teases possibility
Several states have set up lottery jackpots to incentivize getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Will California do the same?

New York, Maryland and Ohio have all announced lotteries and other cash incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated. Will California do the same?

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state has a plan to incentivize getting the COVID-19 vaccine and will announce details Monday or Tuesday.

"We've actually organized a proposal to provide incentives," said Newsom Thursday. He wouldn't reveal too many details, but it doesn't sound like California is planning on a big jackpot lottery.

RELATED: California to reveal full June 15 reopening plan: Here's what we know so far

"We'll do (incentives) in a strategic way. We're not going to do that broadly unless we feel it's necessary. But right now we're looking at targeted strategies and incentives."

Even without cash bonuses, Californians have been relatively quick to get vaccinated. More than 20 million people have gotten at least one dose. There's concern the demand for the vaccine will wane, even as the state moves closer to a full reopening on June 15. Nationally, vaccination numbers have been dropping for six weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"Our vaccination numbers are holding pretty steady about 2 million over the last seven days and while we have seen a decline, we are also seeing a little stability," Newsom said.

There's already one (very big) incentive to get vaccinated, Newsom pointed out: "I think the ultimate incentive is saving a life and the lives of loved ones."

We'll update this story as we learn more about California's plans to incentivize getting vaccinated. Check back for updates.