LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a new incentive for Michiganders to get the COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday: MI Shot To Win.
"This is going to be a chance for Michiganders to get registered and to be eligible for $5 million in cash prizes and college scholarships," Whitmer said during the announcement Thursday.
The new incentive is part of a partnership with Meijer and the Michigan Association of United Ways.
The sweepstakes include individual drawings of $1 and $2 million along with daily $50,000 drawings that are open to those who got vaccinated the day before. Scholarship drawings will take place on Aug. 4.
"I know some of you must be thinking didn’t Ohio do this first? Well, yes they did but in typical Michigan fashion we wanted to do it bigger and better than they can do it in Ohio," Whitmer said.
Michigan did not implement a vaccine lottery previously, Whitmer said, because state law did not allow it. This new partnership with Meijer created a workaround.
"Nearly 5 million Michiganders 16 and up have gotten at least their first shot now from the start our vaccination goal has been 70 percent of Michiganders who are 16 and up, with the sweepstakes we hope to increase our rate by that 9 percent, roughly 700,000 more Michiganders so we can get to that 70 percent rate," Whitmer said.
Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said that, despite the progress, we are still living in a pandemic and more infectious variants are circulating in Michigan.
"So vaccines continue to be our path forward," Hertel said, "and we still have work to do to make sure we reach 70 percent of eligible Michiganders but I am optimistic that we will get there and that the research is telling us that these vaccines are safe and effective. Of the millions of people who have been vaccinated, less than 1 percent of those individuals test positive for COVID-19 after vaccination."
Dr. James Grant, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's chief medical officer, encouraged Michiganders who are still hesitant about the vaccines to talk with their doctors and learn more about the benefit and safety of the doses.
"I strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine because its the best defense, the best line against COVID-19," he said. "Of course prevention and mitigation are still extremely important but the vaccine offers a level of protection pretty much unmatched by any other modality."
Residents can enter the sweepstakes starting July 1 and the contest fund through July 30.
Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.