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Do COVID-19 vaccine incentives work? What experts say

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the state is considering bigger prizes for those who get the shot, but some psychologists fear the incentives could backfire.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tuesday, June 8 is the last day people can get a $25 cash card in North Carolina for getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

During a visit to Charlotte last week, Gov. Roy Cooper said he's not ruling out a bigger prize for people to get their shot, but vaccine incentives aren't swaying everyone. 

Local leaders and businesses are getting creative to try and convince folks to get the COVID-19 shot, but are these incentives really working? Let's connect the dots. 

First, it depends on how hesitant people are about getting vaccinated. The more hesitant someone is, the less likely an incentive is to work for them. 

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According to a recent poll, men were more likely than women to get the shot for a prize. The survey also found millennials were the age group most likely to be motivated by the freebies. 

RELATED: Get a free ticket to the NC Zoo by getting a COVID-19 vaccine

Cash is king, too. A study earlier this year found that two-thirds of adults say money is what's most likely to motivate them to get the vaccine. But some experts say incentives could backfire. 

Psychologists say offering cash for something makes people think there's a risk associated with it, which is not the case with the COVID-19 shot. 

RELATED: No, COVID-19 vaccines aren’t as effective for immunocompromised people, research suggests

Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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