The state is launching a vaccine incentive lottery program that will give out 2.4 million dollars in total prizes to Louisianans who get their shot.

To qualify you have to get at least one COVID shot and register for the drawings. Governor Edwards says the first of five drawings will be held July 9th with the grand prize drawing on August 4th with four $100,000 dollar prizes for adults 18 and older, nine $100,000 scholarships for children 12-17, and one shot at a million-dollar grand prize.

You can register for the drawings starting Monday at noon online or by phone.

Higher Ed Commissioner Dr. Kim Hunter Reed said students who win the scholarships will see the money deposited in a START account that can later be accessed to help pay for four or two-year college or an apprenticeship program. Edwards noted the effort to get more teens vaccinated is important because while 47% of Louisiana adults have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine only 37% of the total population have received at least one dose.

Edwards said a study of other state vaccine lottery programs showed it’s highly effective at getting people off the fence. State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter said it’s worth trying everything.

“You never want to go home after caring for a sick patient and wonder what else you could have done to help that patient,” said Kanter. “When lives are on the line you want to try everything.”

The state is still registering about five to ten COVID deaths a day despite the fact that our percent positivity and overall case numbers have been quite low for months.

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