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Some Minnesota health experts call vax incentives a ‘mixed bag’



This time last year, Wynfred Russell was a strong believer in providing incentives to marginalized communities to get them to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Today, a year after the vaccine was released, he’s less enthusiastic about this strategy.

“I’m in for a struggle because of what I saw,” said Russell, who serves as director of African Health Equality in Jobs, Education and Resources (ACER) and a city councilman in Brooklyn Park. “Motivation has become a double-edged sword.”

Vaccine incentives are essentially financial rewards or perks intended to induce those wishing to get the vaccines. They have worked successfully to increase vaccination numbers against other diseases, such as polio vaccines for children in Ghana, according to a peer-reviewed scientific study published earlier this year. Last summer, the federal government and states across the country decided to use this approach to curb COVID-19.

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