By Manny Otiko, California Black Media
If you haven’t yet won a prize during the state’s Vax for the Win campaign, there are still plenty of incentives available for people who decide to get vaccinated.
The original program created a lottery that gave cash prizes to people who received Covid-19 vaccines. That part of the program ended on Tuesday. But there are still plenty of goodies available, according to Sammi Gallegos, press secretary for the State COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, speaking during a news briefing organized by California Black Media in partnership with The Center at the Sierra Health Foundation and the State of California titled “Get Smart on COVID-19.”
Joining Gallegos were physicians Dr. Jerry Abraham from the Kedren Community Health Center in South Los Angeles and Dr. Andrea Goings, a pediatrician in Los Angeles and the founder of a mobile medical care service called BabyDocHouseCalls.com.
Organizers say the “series is designed to equip Black journalists with the information they need to write authoritatively about COVID-19 vaccinations and harm reduction measures – topics where there is significant misinformation and widespread mistrust.”
According to Gallegos, there are a host of prizes still available, including $50 gift cards, grocery store cards, tickets to amusement parks, and vacation prizes, including $2,000 to go along with the trip. Gallegos said they are still one million gift cards available. Local NBA teams have also donated merchandise to be included as prizes.
The incentive program has worked. Gallegos said that since they implemented the program, vaccination rates went up by 2%. The statewide vaccination rate is about 70% which is in the range of herd immunity (between 60 % of 70%). However, African American vaccination rates are about 45%.
About 40 million vaccines have been administered so far, said Gallegos.
“Californians have waited a long time for June 15 as many of the restrictions that have defined our lives for over a year are beginning to wind down,” said Gallegos in a press release. “But it’s important we all still continue to stay vigilant by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask when needed to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.”
For more information about vaccinations, go to MyTurn.ca.gov to schedule an appointment or call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-422-4255 (833-4CA-4ALL.)