James Marples

Longview, Texas

To the editor:

Having family in Stillwater, I read the Stillwater News Press about the city of Stillwater using up to $50,000 in federal CARES grant money to provide as “incentives’ for people to get the covid-19 vaccinate shots.

In this letter I am not trying to deter nor excessively promote the program. For the record, I got both my Moderna COVID19 vaccine shots this past January and February. At that time, supplies were somewhat limited. I got my shots, as did a cousin of mine. We just counted ourselves “lucky” to get the vaccine. We felt that was “reward enough” at the time, since at that time, it was sort of herky-jerky with the Trump administration ending the very day we got Shot #1 and the Biden Administration trying to slowly integrate roll-outs by the time we received Shot #2. I am fully aware of people who were hesitant (for whatever reason: leery of very little testing-time; leery of side-effects; some people may have felt not in an underlying-conditions bracket; and some were, frankly bitterly opposed due to politics). I am pleased when people receive the vaccine on their own accord. After all, I got mine.

However, I really think it should be encouraged, but no “bribery” as a lottery sweepstakes or jackpot. By the same token, I don’t think it should be “forced” into someone’s bloodstream either, if they have religious reasons or such. The U.S. military may be a rare exception whereby soldiers and sailors know they take orders from “Uncle Sam.” However, I wish that the money allocated by Congress under the CARES Act would be used for vaccine deployment (meaning transportation/storage/and personnel paid to administer it – not as a bribe or lottery for only one rare winner out of various entries). What about the people like me and my cousin who are already vaccinated? We’re not eligible for any such “incentive” since we are vaccinated. This idea of monetary inducement wasn’t given for measles, mumps or rubella shots. Smacks of setting a bad-precedent.

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