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President Biden suggests incentives in exchange for vaccinations

“With freedom comes responsibility, so please exercise responsible judgment for yourself, the people you love, and your country.”

NEW ORLEANS — As COVID cases rise across the country, so is the payoff for vaccination.

Thursday, President Joe Biden asked governors across the country to consider giving a 100-dollar incentive to everyone who gets the vaccine. 

"I know that paying people that get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks who have gotten vaccinated already, But here's the deal — if incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them. We all benefit if we can get more people vaccinated,” said President Biden, who pleaded with Americans to get vaccinated.

“With freedom comes responsibility, so please exercise responsible judgment for yourself, the people you love, and your country.”

Biden asked state and local governments to use funding from the American Rescue Plan, passed in March, to provide the cash incentives.

But is it on the table in Louisiana?

It’s already working in Tangipahoa, a parish with about a 30 percent vaccination rate. 

North Oaks Health System has booked its Saturday vaccine clinic solid, thanks to huge donations.

500 patients will get 50 dollars cash for their first shot and 50 more for the second dose.

Louisiana’s Governor, John Bel Edwards, has not decided whether he’ll answer Biden’s call to bring the payouts statewide.

A spokesperson from Governor Edwards’ office said the team is looking into it, writing, “We know that incentives work, and we need to explore all possible avenues to get as many of our people vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Minnesota, about 54 percent fully vaccinated, said it will implement the program.

Governor Tim Walz tweeted right after Biden’s press conference, “Every Minnesotan who gets vaccinated will get 100 dollars. All you have to do is roll up your sleeves.”

After offering free meals, free crawfish, free drinks, and even a lottery for scholarships and cash in Louisiana, there’s room to up the ante – and the 36 percent vaccination rate.

The governor, though, will have to decide if there’s enough cash.