On June 8, Bethel City Council voted unanimously to accept a $45,000 grant from the State of Alaska. The grant must be used to promote or incentivize the COVID-19 vaccine in unvaccinated individuals. The city has until the end of June 2021 to spend all the funds. City Manager Pete Williams has proposed offering $100 to those willing to get the vaccine, but he said that figure is just an idea.
“The $100 per shot was just arbitrarily picked. If that wasn't enough to prompt somebody, we could up that,” said Williams.
Mayor Michelle DeWitt also brought up the idea of a raffle. Although most council members weren’t quite sure the incentive program would work, they said that it was worth trying just about anything to get people vaccinated.
“Just my two cents: this is free money coming in. I think if this is going to move even some people off of the fence into getting there, even just their first vaccination, I think we should go for it,” said Vice Mayor Haley Hanson.
Williams suggested that the vaccines and incentives could be offered at Bethel Family Clinic, though he said that nothing was solidified yet.