State Watch

Louisiana to offer cash prizes, scholarships for vaccinations

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced a new rewards program on Thursday that would give away cash and scholarships to individuals who get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The initiative, dubbed “Shot in a Million,” will reward 14 Louisiana residents who get at least one vaccine shot with the chance to win prizes ranging from $100,000 in cash or scholarships to $1 million.

In total, the state will give away four $100,000 cash prizes to winners aged 18 and up, nine $100,000 in scholarships to individuals between the ages of 12 and 17 years old, and one $1 million prize to a winner aged 18 and up. 

“So all told, we’re giving away $2.3 million in cash and scholarships for people who decide to go sleeves up against COVID,” Edwards said Thursday during a state coronavirus update. 

Edwards explained during the announcement that residents need to personally enter the lottery, adding that people will not be automatically enrolled after they’ve been vaccinated. Drawings will occur during the month of July.

Residents will be able to register for the first drawing on Monday, at 11a.m. EDT. The first lottery will happen July 14. 

The news comes as states work to get creative and incentivize hard-to-reach groups to get the jab. According to data from the Louisiana Department of Health, around 33 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. 

President Biden said he wants 70 percent of adults to get their first vaccine by July 4, though it appears that the U.S. may not be able to meet that goal.

Earlier this month, Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said at a press briefing that 63 percent of Americans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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