Birmingham City Council To Hear $13 Million Vaccine Sweepstakes Proposal Tuesday

 1528847874 
1623064791

Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council President William Parker will present a $13 million package of incentives, including million-dollar drawings, to encourage residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The plan, to be presented to the city council Tuesday, calls for $500 gift cards, savings bonds, college scholarships and two drawings for up to $1 million.

“Obviously we know there are a lot of different factors for why some people are hesitant to receive a vaccine,” Parker said in a statement announcing the proposal. “As elected leaders here, we must do everything possible to not only make the vaccine accessible, but also encourage its use. This is a bold strategy that we think will drastically increase the number of residents wanting to receive a vaccine.”

For months, Parker encouraged residents to get vaccinated through numerous Facebook Live Town Halls with health experts on the benefits of a vaccination. However, only 36% of Birmingham citizens have received at least their first dose.

The sweepstakes would be funded through money Birmingham received from the American Rescue Plan Act. However, some people said it won’t matter how much money is on the table.

“It’s a hard ‘no’ for me, because I’m not going to be bribed to take something that should be good for me,” Tremon Muhammed said.

Others said they’d only take the top prize.

“My life is not worth less than that,” Ira Smith said. “Why would I take something that only guarantees me a $500? I make more than that a week.”

If Muhammad and Smith reflect the greater Birmingham community, Parker’s lottery plans won’t make much of a difference. But in Ohio, the Vax-A-Million campaign has had a different reaction. The weekend after announcing their lottery, vaccinations in the state increased by 28%.

Parker says his goal is to have at least 175,000 Birmingham residents vaccinated.

More Coronavirus Coverage

To Curb Gun Violence In Gulf States, Activists Are Taking A Closer Look At Policing Alternatives

Over Memorial Day weekend, at least 26 shootings were reported in major cities across Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. At least 10 people were killed and 17 others were injured. It was the latest example of rising homicides and gun violence across the Gulf states this year.

People in Alabama Prisons Confused, Frustrated As State Officials Withhold Their Stimulus Checks

Thousands of people in Alabama prisons received COVID-19 stimulus payments from the federal government, but state officials are holding the checks. They say people in prison will get their money, but maybe not all of it.

Birmingham Mayor Combats Violence Against Children With $125K Incentive

Since January of this year, six children under the age of 10 have been shot in Birmingham, according to police reports. Only one of the shooting incidents has led to an arrest.

Controversial New Alzheimer’s Drug Approved Despite Reservations

The drug, aducanumab, is expected to help slow the progression of the disease, but not to improve current memory impairments, according to a release from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Why Alabama’s Declining Vaccination Rate Could Spell An ‘Uncomfortable Summer’

Close to 70% of Alabamians are still not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but many people have stopped wearing masks and returned to normal activities.

Alabama Coal Workers Strike For Better Wages, Fair Treatment

The strike has gone on for more than two months with no resolution in sight.

More Coronavirus Coverage