Days after Alberta’s vaccine incentive program, thousands of Albertans have taken advantage of the free cash, but experts say the initiative is a long-term futile effort.

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Alberta Introduces New COVID-19 Measures and Offers $ 100 Incentive to Increase Number of Vaccines

The province is offering a $ 100 gift card to Albertans 18 and older if they receive a first or second dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine between September 3 and October 14.

According to Alberta Health, between September 3-6, 11,731 first doses were administered along with 14,322 second doses. The total is 26,053.

Cumulative doses of COVID-19 vaccine received and administered per day in Alberta.

Alberta government

The province says it is a “notable increase”, but others say it is not.

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“The spike due to the extra $ 100 debit card that people are getting is really quite insignificant, both from a statistical and clinical perspective,” said Dr. Brent Macdonald of the Macdonald Psychology Group in Calgary.

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As a psychologist, Macdonald said he sees people who have already been vaccinated for health and safety reasons.

“I think that if people, at this time, have not been vaccinated, $ 100 will not really convince them to make the decision to vaccinate, largely because the reason they do not choose to be vaccinated at this time is based on a system of values ​​or fear-based, ”he said.

“And $ 100 is not going to remove that fear or get rid of that value system, so it’s probably not a really significant uptake in the vaccine process.”

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Amy Kaler, a sociology professor at the University of Alberta, agrees.

“If my reason for not being vaccinated even after so many months of availability of vaccines, if that was because I thought that the vaccine was going to change my DNA or that Bill Gates somehow wants me under his control, $ 100 does not go to take those beliefs away or change those beliefs, so it’s really quite a useless gesture, “he said.

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“It makes everyone angry and it exacerbates the divisions within Alberta that have opened up over the course of COVID, and there’s really no evidence that this is a good way to achieve a higher level of vaccination in a community.”

Kaler doesn’t know what the monetary tipping point is, but he doesn’t think we should find out.

“Giving people money, paying people to get vaccinated, whether it’s $ 100 or $ 100,000, is just a bad idea,” he said.

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Both experts say vaccine passports are a good idea, adding that they have been successful in places like Ontario and BC.

“If we look globally at other measures that have been successful, the idea of ​​a vaccination passport that allows you to attend sporting events, that allows you to attend social and cultural events and even simply go to restaurants, that will get more out of a different than a $ 100 debit card, ”Macdonald said.

Kaler said: “The vaccine passport appears to be the most effective and widely acceptable measure.”

Click to play video: 'Vaccine passport debate differs between rural and urban Alberta'

The vaccine passport debate differs between rural and urban Alberta

The vaccine passport debate differs between rural and urban Alberta

The Alberta government has said it will not implement a vaccine passport and that the best way to overcome the pandemic is for all Albertans to get vaccinated.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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