California to offer $116M in coronavirus vaccine prize money

California to offer $116M in coronavirus vaccine prize money

Los Angeles: California is giving away the nation’s biggest vaccine prize money, $116.5 million, to an effort to vaccinate millions more before the most populous US state fully reopens next month. Governor Gavin Newsom announced the awards Thursday, including the nation’s highest single vaccine prize: $1.5 million.
The state estimates that about 12 million Californians aged 12 and older have not been vaccinated. About 63% of the 34 million eligible people have received shots, although the pace has slowed significantly in recent weeks as infection rates have dropped to record levels.
California’s reopening is pegged for June 15, and a drawing will be held that day to reward the 10 vaccinated people for the top prize.
Another 30 people will win $50,000 each, starting June 4. Anyone 12 years of age and older who has received at least one shot will be eligible. And the next 2 million people who get vaccinated will get a $50 gift card.
Ohio this week announced the first $1 million winner of its “Wax-a-Million” contest, as well as the first child to win a full college scholarship. Colorado and Oregon also offered prizes of $1 million.
New York State is offering 50 full scholarships to children ages 12 to 17 at public universities and colleges, selecting 10 winners each of the next five Wednesdays.
California is turning to cash prizes to encourage vaccinations, a major change from earlier this year, when Californians clamored for shots, some driving or waiting in line for hours to get one.
“Some Californians weren’t ready to receive their COVID-19 vaccine on the first day, and that’s okay. This program is designed to encourage those who need to get vaccinated and to take extra steps to help keep Californians safe.” Help is needed,” Dr. Tomas J. Aragon, director of the state’s public health department, said in a statement.
Newsom’s office said the program would aim to reach people in the communities most affected by the pandemic – mainly the poor, black and Latinos – although it was not immediately clear how the money would go to meet that goal. Will be built.
California uses a “vaccine equity metric” to track vaccination progress that divides ZIP codes into four quartiles from least to most benefited. According to the state, about half of the people in the neighborhood with the least facility are still not vaccinated.
In contrast, less than a quarter of people in the most advantaged areas have not been vaccinated.
Of all Latinos, 57% have not yet been vaccinated. This is the highest percentage of any race or ethnic group. According to state statistics, forty percent of white Californians are not vaccinated.

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