Vaccinated Californians could win up to $1.5-M in new incentive program

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and LA County Fire Department reconfigured The Forum into a COVID-19 Vaccine Site on January 19, 2021. The Covid-19 Testing Site at The Forum is open in simultaneously as vaccine site. | Photo by Los Angeles County

CALIFORNIANS could win up to $1.5 million in a new effort to get more residents vaccinated leading up to the state’s reopening on June 15.

Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday, May 27 launched the “Vax for the Win” incentive program with a $116.5 million price tag — which will include $100 million in $50 prepaid or grocery cards for the next 2 million newly vaccinated people and $16.5 million in cash prizes for all vaccinated Californians

“Getting every eligible Californian vaccinated is how we bring our state roaring back from this pandemic,” said Newsom. “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.”

More than 62.8% of Californians aged 12+ are at least partially vaccinated, but an estimated 12 million people who are eligible still have not gotten a vaccine to protect their health and the well-being of their communities.

“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. “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.”

All Californians aged 12+ who are at least partially vaccinated are automatically eligible for the cash prize drawings taking place in June.

Thirty winners in total will be selected for the “$50,000 Fridays” cash prize drawings on June 4 and June 11, totaling $1.5 million.

On June 15, $1.5 million will be awarded to 10 lucky Californians – for a grand total of $15 million in cash prizes. Winners must complete their vaccination in order to claim their prize. If someone under 18 wins, the cash will be put in a savings account for them until they turn 18.

Beginning on May 27, the next two million people who begin and complete their COVID-19 vaccination will automatically be eligible to receive a $50 prepaid or grocery card, worth a total of $100 million. It gives them the option to select from a $50 Virtual Prepaid Card (which can be spent online, in-store where major debit cards are accepted, or added to a mobile wallet to be used to shop in stores that accept mobile wallets), or a $50 grocery gift card from Kroger (which includes Ralphs, Food 4 Less and Foods Co.) or Albertsons (which includes Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Andronico’s Community Markets), while supplies last. Californians will receive a text message with an electronic prepaid card redemption code sent to their mobile phone or email address 7-10 days after their two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson and Johnson. An incentive card will be held for those who start their vaccination at the launch of the program. Those who do not have a mobile phone or email address can receive a physical card by calling 1-833-993-3873, 7-10 days after receiving their final dose. Those without a permanent address can also call to coordinate delivery.

For more information, visit COVID19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win. To schedule an appointment to be vaccinated, visit MyTurn.ca.gov or call the CA COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255. (AJPress)

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