Manitobans who get their first COVID-19 vaccine by August 2 will be entered to win cash incentives of up to $100,000.
Premier Brian Pallister is being joined by the President and CEO of Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, Manny Atwal, to announce benefits for vaccinated Manitobans Wednesday morning.
The pair is announcing a $2 million vaccination lottery.
"The sooner we get vaccinated, the sooner we get our lives back. This lottery gives Manitobans a reason to move faster to roll up their sleeves not once, but twice," Pallister says.
Speaking to the feeling some Manitobans have regarding some Manitobans being given prizes over others, the premier says "no one will be left out unless they choose to be left out."
Manitobans who are medically unable to get the vaccine are not eligible for the prizes.
All who received their first dose by August 2 will be entered to win $2 million in cash or scholarships in draws. This includes all Manitobans aged 12 and older, with cash prizes for adults only and scholarships for youth only.
Those who received two doses by September 6 will be eligible for the second round of draws.
- three prizes of $100,000 in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (excluding Churchill), for a total of $300,000
- one $100,000 prize in each of these regional health authorities, for a total of $400,000:Prairie Mountain Health, Southern Health-Santé Sud, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, and Northern Regional Health Authority (including Churchill)
- 10 $25,000 scholarships for young people aged 12 to 17 across the province, for a total of $250,000
Draw dates will depend on when all vaccination information is collected and entered into the provincial system.
Everyone who received a vaccine in the province will be automatically entered. There is an opt-out option.
Cash prizes will not be taxes. Atwal says there are still working out the details for scholarships, including what could happen if a young person who is not legally eligible for the cash prize does not attend post-secondary school in the future.
Those who received their vaccine outside of Manitoba are eligible, but they must send their records to the province.
"We believe the right decision is to protect yourself and to protect our community, your loved ones," Pallister says.
For weeks, the Premier has said vaccine incentives were coming to Manitobans who reviewed COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The province had previously sent out a poll, asking Manitobans what could influence them to get the vaccine. Among the suggestions, being able to visit personal care homes and travel without isolating was the most motivating, which was announced on Tuesday that secure vaccination cards will allow Manitobans to do.
Among the suggested incentives, large events such as concerts and large faith, personal and community gatherings came second, and certain businesses and facilities open only to fully vaccinated people was the least favourable incentive.
On Tuesday, Pallister says the newly-announced vaccination card will give benefits to fully vaccinated Manitobans, for the time being.
"We hope this is a temporary measure, of course, as we get to the point where everybody is vaccinated and we don't need to worry so much about this."
Manitoba is close to reaching its initial 70 per cent vaccination target for first doses. This target was set when the wild strain of COVID-19 was prevalent, with the province planning to achieve herd immunity. Since then, Public Health has said this may change due to the severity and high hospitalization rates of variant cases. Dr. Brent Roussin is set to announce changes to the Public Health Orders Wednesday afternoon.
Pallister says close to two-thirds of Manitobans have received their first COVID-19 vaccine. As of Monday, 960,480 doses were administered with 89,706 to be administered this week. Many of those doses are second doses, as eligibility has been slowly opening.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated.