hree Albertans will win $1 million dollars, thanks to the new COVID-19 vaccine lottery.
It’s the “Open for Summer Lottery,” as coined by Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro. It’s an incentive to increase immunization so the province can reach the 70 per cent immunization goal, which will allow Alberta to move into Stage 3 as planned.
According to CTV News, about 68.5 per cent of the eligible population has gotten their first dose, while 19.2 per cent of people are fully vaccinated with two doses.
Stage 3, which is essentially the removal of most pandemic-related restrictions, can only happen two weeks after the province reaches the 70 per cent threshold. The province is projected to reach the threshold by June 18 — leaving two weeks to prepare for Stage 3, opening up by early July.
Kenney said that if residents want to spend Canada Day like normal, with friends and family, they would have to reach the 70 per cent mark no later than June 17.
“We need to just nudge those who haven’t gotten around to getting their vaccines yet,” said the Premier. “Please do your part, because now a vaccine shot is also your shot at $1 million.”
There will be three draws for the $1 million reward, for every Albertan aged 18 and older who has received at least one dose. The eligibility cutoff will be one week after the province hits the 70 per cent mark, and winners will be announced once Stage 3 is in effect.
Starting today, anyone who has gotten vaccinated can enter for the lottery at alberta.ca/lottery and enter their information. You only have to provide proof of vaccination if you are called as one of the winners.
The first winner will be announced on the first day of Stage 3, the second winner will be announced August 31 with the cut off for eligibility being August 24. The third winner will be announced on September 30 with the cut off being September 23.
For the second and third prize draws, you will need to have gotten both of your vaccines.
There will be other prizes as well, yet to be announced. There are also incentives and prizes for young Albertans aged 12 to 17 who have gotten the shot, and will be announced in the coming weeks.
Premier Kenney said they’re getting creative to encourage people to get the vaccine. There’s been a decline in hospitalizations and more openings of businesses and sectors.
Recently, there’s been a drop-off in the amount of people who are getting vaccinated, and the province is doing everything they can to continue to make vaccines as accessible as possible.
In the US, lotteries are making a big uptake to get people vaccinated, Kenney said.
“It’s very simple, we want everyone to be protected.”
Shandro said they’re spending this money to ensure immunity to benefit Albertans. He said COVID has already cost the province billions and the lottery will reduce the cost going forward.
“I’m confident that we have it in us to sprint to the finish line.”