BREAKING NEWS 10 vaccinated Californians will win $1.5 million Full Story

BREAKING NEWS 10 vaccinated Californians will win $1.5 million Full Story”

The Golden State joins six other USA states offering cash prizes to encourage people to get vaccinated.

California is giving away the country's largest pot of vaccine prize money, $116.5 million, in an attempt to get millions more inoculated before the most populous US state fully reopens next month.

Eighth grader Joseph Costello, centre, of Englewood, Ohio, victor of the Ohio Vax-a-Million, full college scholarship vaccination incentive prize, seen here on Thursday with his parents Colleen and Rich Costello.

Californians who have already received the vaccine will automatically be entered to win cash prizes.

The campaign comes as the most-populous state prepares to fully reopen its economy on June 15, dropping most of its restrictions on social gatherings and business operations.

California joins a growing list of states offering incentives to boost vaccination rates.

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.

The state just announced a $116.5 million program that combines an automatic lottery for the already vaccinated with gift cards for the newly vaccinated as well as a lottery for those still getting their shots, with prizes up to $1.5 million for individuals - including kids 12 and up.

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OH this week announced the first US$1 million victor of its "Vax-a-Million" contest, as well as the first child to win a full college scholarship.

All Californians 12 and up who are at least partially vaccinated will be eligible for the cash prize drawings taking place in June.

"You don't have to register to do this as is the case in other states", Newsom said in comments today. Prizes include ten chances to win a $1.5 million cash lottery prize.

Newsom's office said the program would be aimed at reaching people in communities hardest hit by the pandemic - mainly the poor, Blacks and Latinos - though it wasn't immediately clear how the money would be tailored to fit that goal. People without permanent addresses can also call to confirm delivery.

Also, he warned, "Don't go back and get vaccinated again".

Several states and localities have launched efforts to incentivize vaccination against COVID-19 in recent weeks amid concerns from public health experts that vaccine hesitancy is a major roadblock in the way of the US reaching herd immunity against the virus.

"These types of strategies don't work in sometimes our lower-income, minority populations where we intend them to work if we don't at the same time lower those barriers - whether it's digital or transportation or language", Bibbins-Domingo said.

By contrast, less than a quarter of people in the most advantaged areas haven't been vaccinated.

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