Alberta introduces $1M vaccine lottery in effort to increase first dose uptake

Jun 14 2021, 9:27 am

Alberta has introduced a province-wide lottery for those who receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

The “Open for Summer Lottery” is being implemented to encourage more Albertans to get vaccinated. The lottery gives Alberta residents aged 18 and over who have already been immunized or who get vaccinated in the coming weeks a chance to win $1 million.

Two weeks after 70% of the eligible population has received a first dose of vaccine, the province will move into Stage 3 of its Open for Summer Plan, which will see all public health restrictions lifted, including the ban on indoor social gatherings.

“This lottery will help us cross that 70% threshold so we can reopen and stay open,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in a news release. “Albertans have already responded in such a big way to our vaccine program, and we’ve been able to lift many health restrictions because of their efforts.”

“We just need one final push so we can lift them all and get back to normal,” continued Kenney. “If you’ve been waiting to book, or you’ve been looking for a reason to get the shot, here it is.”

During a Monday afternoon press conference, Premier Kenney announced that there will be two additional $1 million lotteries available for Albertans over the age of 18 who have received a second dose of vaccine, to be drawn at later dates.

Vaccinated people can now enter all three draws by opting-in online once. Those whose names are selected must be able to provide proof that they’ve received their first dose to win the July draw, or their second dose to win the August and September draws.

Registration for the first draw will close one week after 70% of eligible Albertans have received a dose, and the July winner will be drawn when Stage 3 of the Open for Summer Plan begins.

More than 68.5% of eligible Albertans have now received their first dose of the vaccine. This includes 19.2% of the population who are fully immunized with two doses of vaccine.

According to the Alberta government, the province is currently on target to hit the 70% milestone on June 18, at which point the two-week countdown to Stage 3 of the reopening plan will begin.

“The arrival and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines in our province have accomplished extraordinary things,” said Alberta’s Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro. “It’s only fitting that we respond in kind with a once-in-a-lifetime event in Alberta.”

“This lottery is an investment in Albertans and our province’s economic future. I am confident that we will see that final upswing in vaccinations to take us across that finish line to widespread immunity.”

Alberta is the second Canadian province to introduce a vaccine lottery. On June 9, Manitoba implemented a similar strategy, with nearly $2 million in cash prizes and scholarships to be awarded throughout the province in several draws.

As of June 12, 3,384,026 doses of the vaccine were administered in Alberta, and 767,586 residents have been fully immunized with two doses.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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