Speed Reads

taking a lap

Driving laps on a NASCAR track wasn't as popular a vaccine reward as Kansas officials hoped

In a literal attempt to drive up vaccination numbers, Wyandotte County, Kansas offered residents the chance to ride their car around the Kansas Speedway in exchange for a COVID-19 test or vaccine. But Friday and Saturday's so-called Race to End COVID-19 wasn't quite the grand prix health officials had imagined, FOX 4 KC reports.

Of those that attended, 240 people were tested for COVID-19, but only 124 vaccines were administered, per FOX 4 KC.

"No matter what the number turns out to be, you always wish it would be higher," said Brian Koelliker, Unified Government's vaccine mobile operations supervisor. 

Wyandotte County vaccination rates have consistently lagged behind the rest of the state, FOX 4 KC reported last Tuesday. As of last week, only 33 percent and 28 percent of county residents had received their first dose or been fully vaccinated, respectively. In neighboring Johnson County, 45 percent are fully vaccinated.

At this point, Koelliker said, "We're just happy with whatever population, whatever number we can get at an event." 

Plenty of other states are enticing residents with similarly targeted vaccination reward programs. Washington state just rolled out a "Joints for Jabs" initiative, allowing cannabis retailers to offer one free joint to every vaccinated adult. Meanwhile, Minnesota is offering the first 100,000 residents to receive a first dose between May 27 and June 30 their choice of a Minnesota fishing license, zoo admission, or state parks vehicle permit, among other prizes.