San Francisco, CA

New details being released in the 'Vax for the Win' California vaccine lottery program

Ed Walsh

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San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center vaccination siteEd Walsh

California Governor Newsom announced his“Vax for the Win” Program to Get More Californians Vaccinated by June 15, the date when the governor will allow businesses to open without restrictions. The San Francisco Bay Area has among the highest vaccination rates in the state.

The $116.5 million vaccine incentive program is designed to boost vaccinations as California prepares to reopen the economy June 15. The state is putting up $100 million in $50 prepaid or grocery cards for the next two million newly vaccinated people. A total of $16.5 million in cash prizes for all vaccinated

The incentives are designed by the state to give an "extra nudge" to those who still need to get vaccinated against COVID-19, especially those in hard-to-reach communities, while also a gesture of thanks to everyone who has already been vaccinated.

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

The state reports that more than 62.8 percent of Californians aged 12+ are at least partially vaccinated, but an estimated 12 million people who are eligible still have not gotten a vaccine.

“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 and over who are at least partially vaccinated will be eligible for the cash prize drawings taking place in June. A total of 30 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, the date when the state will officially reopen, $1.5 million will be awarded to 10 lucky Californians—for a grand total of $15 million in cash prizes.

Under the official rules, 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, the rules state

How can you get a gift card? Here is the official rules "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. 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 visit MyTurn.ca.gov or call the CA COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255.

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