Here we go again.

It’s the latest incentive to try to entice more people into rolling up a sleeve and accepting a COVID-19 vaccine. The Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange will be giving shots on June 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Even to children. People 18 and older can have either the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the Pfizer vaccine. Kids 12 to 17 are eligible for Pfizer only.

The incentive? A free day at the zoo. Yep, you agree to get the shot and Turtle Back Zoo will give you a voucher for free admission. No one already vaccinated is eligible for this deal. This is only for those who agree to be vaccinated that day at the zoo. Kind of a weird place to be getting your medical treatment, isn’t it? With braying donkeys and chattering monkeys and kids walking by licking melting ice cream off their fingers?

Normal admission for adults is $17 and $14 for seniors and kids 2 to 12. So would a senior do it to save $14? Would an adult do it or have their child do it to save a few bucks? I’ve written about this sort of thing before. Am I wrong to be offended?

It’s just that taking this vaccine is such a personal decision. Yes they’ve been approved by the FDA but for emergency use only. Don’t take me wrong. I believe they’re safe and effective and I was vaccinated myself. But I’m not making my teenagers get it as it’s different from a tried and true vaccine like for polio or measles. While I don’t think there will be any, we just cannot know long-term effects.

So when Krispy Kreme gives out a daily glazed donut for flashing your vaccination card or Governor Murphy has the arrogance to put a dinner with him and his wife up as a prize for getting vaccinated, it feels like a mockery is being made of people’s concerns. Not to mention the person most likely to be anti-vaccine is a person who does NOT want to socialize with someone like Phil Murphy. Trust me on that.

You really think people’s misgivings are so mild that a free glass of wine or a free beer or any of these other ridiculous incentives are going to make a difference? Take your free zoo admission, but I’m guessing only people who were already going to get the vaccine and were just running a little behind will be the ones receiving it.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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