BUTTE — Butte-Silver Bow residents can get up to $10,000 by getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
Commissioners approved a plan for Butte-Silver Bow that will use $500,000 of CARES Act money toward educating the public about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Town Pump matched the $500,000 to help with cash prizes for people who get vaccinated.
The plan entails money being put toward a large media campaign through an advertising firm. Cash incentives will only be awarded to those who have received their COVID-19 vaccination.
The cash prize will be drawn weekly. Names will be collected from a database that keeps track of who has gotten their vaccination.
County Chief Executive JP Gallagher hopes that the campaign will bring in those 18-35-year-old residents who have not been vaccinated yet.
"Those seem to be the most resistant because their health is generally a little better than people a little bit older and so they don’t feel like that they’re as at risk as others," said Gallagher.
Local leaders will also be lending a hand to help persuade people to get their vaccination. One of those leaders is Father Patrick Beretta.
Beretta studied the role of churches in Butte during the 1918 pandemic and found that churches spread misinformation
"This time around I wanted our congregation to really be part of the solution, to collaborate, to cooperate with the authorities in being a force for good and trying to keep people safe and well," said Beretta.
Forty percent of Butte-Silver Bow is fully vaccinated. Beretta understands the hesitancy of getting the vaccine, but in order to reach herd immunity, 70 percent of the community needs to be vaccinated.
"It’s now time to pivot to motivate people, persuade people who have been a little bit on the fence to get vaccinated. You know, vaccination works only as well as the number of people who get vaccinated," said Beretta.
The vaccination education will run for four months.
Anyone who receives their COVID-19 vaccination within that time frame will be entered into the sweepstakes.