Brookings creates incentive program to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations


BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO)– The City of Brookings is giving away $50,000 in cash and $10,000 in SDSU scholarships as part of a COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive Program.

The mission: get the community vaccinated.

“Right now, we are encouraging people to get vaccinated or wear a mask so we can reduce the spread of the Delta variant within our community. This impacts not only the health and life safety of our citizens, but also the local economy,” Brookings city manager Paul Briseno said.

So far, there are more than 2,000 residents signed up for the program.

“We’re seeing a lot of people sign up and just so everybody knows, you don’t have to be vaccinated from Tuesday to now to get signed up for the program. It’s any time in the past so you could sign up. So that’s why we are seeing such a big response,” Swiftel general manager Michael Logan said.

They worry if school, especially SDSU, were to shut down, it would hurt the business community. That’s just one reason why they have partnered together for this program.

“Their success is our success and our success is their success. Together we work hand in hand on just about everything we do in this community,” Briseno said.

They even see this program as a chance to have some friendly rivalry between colleges for a good cause.

“In fact, we do know that our rival down south, we won’t even mention their name, is doing something similar. However, I do know they are lacking in numbers, so this is kind of a challenge to our students, to our community to get out there in a friendly competition to raise more awareness around vaccinations,” Briseno said.

The money is coming from the American Rescue Plan funds designated to the city. The last day to apply is October 10th.

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