If you have a criminal record and you visit Louisiana's East Baton Rouge Parish, you can get vaccinated for free and have your records expunged.
The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office recently held a free vaccination event. Area residents who participated got free coronavirus vaccination. At the same time, participants received help filling out the proper paperwork to have their criminal records erased.
East Baton District Attorney (DA) Hillar Moore and members of his staff, along with the Clerk of Court and the Public Defenders Office, worked on their day off to help out at the unusual vaccination event.
To be eligible, Moore said that more than five years should have passed since sentence completion for misdemeanors. For felonies, 10 years since completion of a sentence was required. A case was wiped clean immediately if it did not result in a conviction. (Related: NY prisons offer COVID-19 vaccine incentives to inmates.)
According to pre-event promotions, participants also had a chance to win "free food and a VISA gift card."
Moore said the parish holds record expungements each month to help improve the parish's vaccination rate. He also said that the parish waived the $550 record expungement fee for most of the cases.
Based on an informal count, over 100 parish members showed up to take advantage of the DA's offer.
East Baton Rouge Parish isn't the only place where people are being offered incentives if they get vaccinated.
In New York, citizens who sign up to receive their first vaccine dose at a New York City-run vaccine location or through the city's in-home vaccination program can choose from various incentives like pre-paid debit cards, baseball game tickets, amusement park tickets, football club tickets, NYC Ferry 10-Ride Pass, gift cards and various memberships.
On Aug. 26, the college started holding random drawings to pick winners from students and employees who provided their vaccine information. Prizes include scholarships for students and grants for employees.
Students and employees who uploaded vaccine information prior to the drawing dates are eligible for different awards, such as scholarships, grants for employee work-related travel, professional development or work supplies.
Despite these attempts to incentivize vaccinations, a preprint study suggests that none of the vaccination incentive programs have resulted in an increase in coronavirus vaccination rates
For the study, researchers have examined statewide incentive programs through the National Governors' Association and Google News. The research team has focused on data from April 1, before the first statewide incentive program, to July 29.
Findings reveal that at least 24 states have implemented vaccine incentive programs. The experts have calculated the rate of vaccine doses administered daily per 100,000 persons in each state using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the 14 days before and after incentive programs were carried out.
The researchers have found that daily vaccination rates actually went down in the first 14 days after the implementation of the incentives. In the 26 states without incentive programs, vaccination rates also declined during comparable 14-day periods.
In general, the study shows that vaccine incentive programs are associated with a non-significant drop in daily vaccination rates of 8.9 per 100,000 persons. The researchers add that there were no significant trends discovered in states with or without vaccine incentives during any of the 14-day periods studied.
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