Colorado to launch vaccine incentive program using lottery prizes

Gov. Jared Polis will announce Tuesday the launch of a statewide initiative to award lottery prizes as a way of encouraging more Coloradans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the number of shots given to ward off the deadly disease has dropped off dramatically in the last few weeks.

Polis will debut the new vaccination incentive program, dubbed the Colorado Comeback Cash, at 12:45 p.m. at the Governor’s Mansion in Denver alongside state officials and an official from the Colorado Lottery.

The move echoes similar lottery incentive efforts that have been introduced in other states, like New York, Ohio and Oregon. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Maryland will hold the first of its $40,000 lottery drawings for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

That state’s drawings will continue for 40 consecutive days, culminating in a final drawing on July 4 worth $400,000. The details of Colorado’s incentive program will be unveiled at the governor’s news conference Tuesday.

According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, nearly 2.5 million Coloradans have been fully immunized against COVID-19, while nearly 3 million have received at least one shot. But the pace of vaccinations has plummeted since late April, when more than 300,000 doses were administered in a week.

For the week ending May 16, that number had plunged to 22,500.

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