Manitoba will provide nearly $2 million in bonuses to vaccinated people

Manitoba is giving out US$1.9 million in cash and scholarships to encourage more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The prize will be divided into two draws-one for those who received the first dose before August 2 and the other for those who received the second dose before September 6. Anyone 12 years of age and older who is vaccinated will automatically be eligible to win.

“We need Manitoba people to be vaccinated. The sooner we get the vaccine, the sooner we can get back to life. This lottery gives Manitoba people a reason to roll up their sleeves faster, not once, but twice.” Governor Brian Pallister said. The announcement was made with Manny Atwal, President and CEO of Manitoba Liquor and Lottery Company.

Each draw will award three prizes of US$100,000 in the Winnipeg Health Region, and one prize of US$100,000 each in the Prairie Mountains, South, East Interlaken, and North Health Region. Churchill is part of the Winnipeg Health District and will be drawn together with the Northern Health District.

Only people over 18 years old are eligible for cash awards.

However, scholarships are available for people between 12 and 17 years of age. Each of the two draws will award 10 scholarships of US$25,000.

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries will conduct a lottery, supervised by a third-party auditor.

If people want, they will have a way to opt out of the lottery.

Research in the province shows that very few people refuse to be vaccinated-about 2% of the total population.

The rest are hesitant to the vaccine for various reasons, including language barriers, cultural or religious issues, wanting to learn more about science, or difficulty in reaching the vaccination site.

Although the lottery did not directly address these challenges, Pallister said it was only part of the entire campaign.

“We are conducting an advertising campaign… We have available literature, we have been promoting the availability of more information, and we will continue to do so,” he said.

Last week, the province announced that it would provide grants of up to US$1 million, up to US$20,000, and groups can use these grants to reach people who are hesitant to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Tuesday, the first-dose vaccination rate for eligible people 12 years and older in Manitoba was 66.7%.

In some areas of the province, this figure is much lower, especially in the Stanley (14.9%), Winkler (28.2%) and Hanover (33%) health districts in southern Manitoba.

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