Alberta provides 3 million Canadian dollars in cash to encourage more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor Jason Kenny announced the launch of the “Summer Open” vaccine lottery on Saturday. Albertans 18 and older will receive three $1 million prizes, and they have received at least one vaccine.
Kenny praised the Albertans who had received the first dose of vaccine for helping the province overcome the peak of COVID-19 in the spring. But Kenny said in a video posted on Twitter that the demand for vaccines has waned. The video was shot in an empty fast-moving vaccine clinic in the Edmonton Expo Center.
Announce #OpenForSummer lottery!
If you postpone booking your first dose of vaccine, or wait for reasons to book, here are:
Your vaccine is $1 million.
Kenny said: “Similar sweepstakes have been launched in many parts of the world because we need to promote those who have not yet received the vaccine.”
Kenny said that if more people get vaccinated, the lottery will “pay for itself,” noting that billions of dollars have been spent on healthcare and support in the past 16 months due to the pandemic.
Kenny said the first draw will take place on the day Alberta enters the third phase of its reopening plan.
On Thursday, the province entered the second phase of its reopening plan, one step closer to the unlimited summer.
Phase 3 will begin two weeks after 70% of eligible Albertans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Eligibility for the lottery is unknown
It is not clear what the exact rules of the lottery are.
In the video, the governor stated that Albertans can enter if they receive at least the first dose of vaccine within a week of 70% of eligible Albertans.
However, a press release issued by the province stated that all Alberta residents over the age of 18 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine can register.
Alberta Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that if a lottery can be offered, anyone who gets the first dose of the vaccine can enter, not just those who get the first dose after the lottery is announced.
CBC News reached out for comment on the lottery on Saturday. The Prime Minister’s Office stated that detailed information on how to register will be announced on Monday.