Gov. Cox looking at cash incentives being offered to boost COVID-19 vaccinations

May 27, 2021, 9:06 PM
(Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaking at a COVID-19 briefing May 27, 2021.  Photo,
(Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaking at a COVID-19 briefing May 27, 2021. Photo,
(Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaking at a COVID-19 briefing May 27, 2021. Photo,

SALT LAKE CITY – Health officials in states like Ohio and California hope the lure of millions of dollars will convince more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Could Governor Spencer Cox bring similar incentives to Utah? He said state leaders are considering it, but it might not be necessary.

Health officials say Utah’s vaccination rollout is still having a significant impact on the spread of COVID-19. The state’s rolling seven-day average of new cases took a dramatic drop over the last week, and over 1.47 million Utahns have been at least partially vaccinated. Officials reported over 56 percent of all eligible Utahns have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 46 percent are fully vaccinated.

So, cash incentive programs might not be needed in Utah.  Still, Governor Cox says he’s looking at what’s happening in states that are offering these prizes.

“It would be really great if we didn’t need any incentives, at all.  Hopefully, not dying is a great incentive,” he said.

In California, lawmakers are offering ten $1.5 million prizes to residents who get vaccinated, which is part of their $116.5 million program to incentivize Californians. In Ohio, they’ve already announced their first million-dollar winner. However, it’s still too soon to know how effective these programs will be in boosting vaccinations. 

Even if they are effective, Utah’s lawmakers may not be interested in implementing this kind of program.

Cox said, “We’re very fiscally conservative in this state, as we should be.  We’re cautious with how we spend dollars that are coming to us.  So, if it’s not necessary, we shouldn’t expend them.”

The governor said the state is in no hurry to create new cash incentives to increase vaccination.

“If an incentive works now, it will probably work a month from now, as well,” Cox says.  “We’re not going to do it unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Cox said.

Nothing is being proposed in Utah, yet, and Cox believes they made a deal with lawmakers to consult them before any program is announced. The legislature has control of the budget and would control any kind of potential funding.

“We would come back to them as we watched what happens with vaccines over the next several weeks,” he said.

Today’s Top Stories


Shortages of antivirals and antibiotics compound the stress of this year's early and severe respira...
Brenda Goodman and Raenu Charles, CNN

Shortages of antivirals, antibiotics compound stress of a rough season for viral illnesses in kids

Shortages of key medications used to treat common childhood illnesses like flu, ear infections, and sore throats are adding to the misery of this year's early and severe respiratory virus season.
4 days ago
Officials at Weber State University are considering a change to the student health services current...
Alexandrea Bonilla

Weber State University considers outsourcing student health care

Right now, the health center at Weber State provides low-cost care to students and does not require any form of insurance.
5 days ago
carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
5 days ago
Mark Jackson

BYU wellness students return from Blue zone with healthy lifestyle tips

Some BYU students are learning how to live healthy and happier lives from a trip to Ikaria, Greece.
5 days ago
mental health rural...
Devin Oldroyd

Salt Lake Co. Council voting to fund temporary mental health receiving center

Salt Lake County Council will vote Tuesday morning on Funding for a temporary mental health receiving center at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
6 days ago
Driven to Assist Season of Service by Larry H Miller....
Elizabeth Weiler and Waverly Golden

Companies around Utah offer free Thanksgiving meals and more

The Miller Foundation, Crossroads Urban Center, and Ken Garff are all offering Thanksgiving meals and other services for Thanksgiving.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Gov. Cox looking at cash incentives being offered to boost COVID-19 vaccinations