California Governor Gavin Newsom is encouraging Californians to get vaccinated by offering cash prizes. On Thursday (May 27) Gov. Newsom announced “Vax for the Win,” an incentive program that was created to increase vaccinations within communities that were highly affected by the pandemic, and among Californians overall.
“Some Californians weren’t ready to get their COVID-19 vaccine on day one, and that’s okay. This program is designed to encourage those who need extra support to get vaccinated and help keep California safe,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer said in a statement from the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. “The State will work closely with our partners at local health departments and community-based organizations to ensure the program reaches families living in communities with the lowest vaccination rates, who might face language barriers and other obstacles.”
Gov. Newsom’s goal is to nudge the remaining unvaccinated Californians towards getting a vaccine and get individuals that are partially vaccinated fully vaccinated—Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses.
The $116.5 million vaccination incentive program is intended to help ensure that California communities are safe when California’s economy reopens June 15, 2021. Currently 37.1M vaccine doses have been administered, 4.3M people have been partially vaccinated and 17.1M people have been fully vaccinated, according to the California Coronavirus official website.
“Getting every eligible Californian vaccinated is how we bring our state roaring back from this pandemic,” said Gov. Newsom in a statement from his office. “California has already made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the country, while administering millions more vaccines than any other state. But we aren’t stopping there, we’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely.”
Gov. Newsom’s program, dubbed the vaccine lottery, is now in full effect and anyone 12+ that has been partially vaccinated will automatically be entered into the cash prize drawings. As of now, the next 2 million Californians to begin and complete their vaccination will be eligible to win a $50 prepaid or grocery card. The grocery gift card can be used at any subsidiary of Kroger or Albertsons, i.e. Food 4 less, Safeway, Ralphs, etc.
Additionally, 40 California residents could win an even bigger cash prize in June. On the first and second Friday of June, 30 Californians could win $50,000 for “50,000 Fridays,” while 10 could possibly win $1.5 million on June 15. If one of the lucky winners happens to be a minor then their winnings would be placed in a savings account for them until they become of legal age.