PICK A SIDE: Should Ontario implement lottery to encourage people to get vaccinated?


Published July 9, 2021 at 3:25 pm


As of Friday (July 9), nearly 70 per cent of Ontarians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including nearly 80 per cent of adults, and more than half of all adults have been fully immunized.

Ontario has become one of the leading jurisdictions in the world when it comes to vaccination rates, despite the fact it took longer to procure vaccines than countries that have the capacity to manufacture them.

However, despite the rapid rate at which residents are being vaccinated, there are still some who oppose getting jabbed.

According to the Province, between May 15 and June 12, 2021, the vast majority of cases of the virus, 83 per cent, were among unvaccinated individuals.

The Province has stated the implementation of a vaccine passport is in the hands of the federal government, and the feds have been non-committal regarding whether or not they intend to.

However, while it remains unclear whether the government will implement a proverbial stick to encourage people to get vaccinated, despite the fact it’s been in the public discourse for some time now, there has been little discussion in Ontario of implementing a carrot.

In order to entice residents to get vaccinated, other provinces have been offering perks to those who choose to get vaccinated.

In Alberta, one of the provinces with a lower vaccination rate, many businesses have been offering incentives to those who can prove they’ve gotten jabbed, including deals and discounts on products and services.

Additionally, the government of Alberta has implemented a lottery for those who have been vaccinated—everyone with a single dose can enter once, while those who received both can enter twice—for a grand prize of $1 million (there are also other prizes including vacation deals, travel packages, and sports packages).

The government is offering the prize each month, with draws in July, August, and September.

But Alberta isn’t the only Province offering these perks, Manitoba is also giving away nearly $2 million worth of prizes to those who choose to get vaccinated.

While Ontario is ahead of both of those provinces in terms of vaccination rates, it’s not by much—according to the latest data from Health Canada, as of June 26, Ontario had 66.95 per cent of residents vaccinated, while Alberta had 60.23 and Manitoba had 63.08.

Further, according to the data, Ontario trailed all Maritime provinces and Quebec when it came to vaccination rates.

In early June, the Province said they would not be implementing a vaccine lottery, in order to entice those who may be on the fence about getting vaccinated to do so, but should they rethink that plan?

If Ontario were to implement a contest similar to what Manitoba and Alberta are offering, it would cost between $2 and $3 million, not that much in the grand scheme of things.

Additionally, if it can speed up the vaccination rate, and allow more businesses to reopen and people to return to work sooner, it could result in saving money on costs associated with supports for people and businesses.

However, if everyone is entered into the contest, including those who would still get vaccinated otherwise, it may not move the needle enough for those who are opposed to getting jabbed to do so.

So, readers, what do you think?

Should the Province implement some sort of prize system to entice people to get vaccinated?

Should Ontario implement lottery to encourage people to get vaccinated?
Yes, if it speeds up the process it’s worth it!
No, it wouldn’t work and would just waste money!

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