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KENNEWICK, Wash. – Staff at a south-central Washington state jail have found a cheap, effective way to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among inmates.

The Benton County Jail’s “SOUPS FOR SHOTS” campaign kicked off Aug. 1, offering inmates who sign up for their first COVID-19 vaccine shot 10 free Ramen noodle soups, one of its most popular commissary items, The Olympian reported.

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Scott Souza, chief of corrections for the Benton County Corrections Department, told the newspaper that the facility distributed 900 packets of Ramen noodles to 90 inmates in roughly first three weeks of the program.

“We’re doing everything we can do to incentivize vaccination, and we are getting outstanding response,” Souza added.

Any unimmunized inmate is eligible for the program, and Souza said that the Benton County facility has shared information about the successful incentive programs with other jails statewide, The Olympia reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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