A Republican from Missouri thinks more people will be immunized against the deadly disease, if they automatically go in the draw to win $10,000.
Gov. Mike Parson officially launched the “Be a Mo VIP Winner” initiative, which gives more than 180 people a chance to receive the amount in cash or an education savings account. The only catch is entrants must voluntarily receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Go to your health care leaders in your communities–the people you trust, your doctors and the people you know–that will give you good information and be able to make your judgments on getting a vaccine,” he said according to KMBC 9 News. “Make your decision for you and your family–that is the way the Missourians will get this done.”
Parson believes the best way to encourage more people to take the jab, is to provide them with the information and let them draw their own conclusions.
“I ask you to turn off the clutter–the gloom and doom scenarios that are out there across our state, all the misinformation that is out there, all the people that have a political agenda to talk about this virus,” he said according to the broadcaster.
Beginning in July, the state Department of Health and Senior Services will collaborate with Missouri Lottery to choose 180 winners in five randomized draws. The incentive scheme is promised to award a total of 900 people.
Missouri residents must fill out a secure online form on the “Be a Mo VIP Winner” website to be eligible to win. The state said that it would not gather immunization data to enrol people in the program automatically.
There are three categories, according to the governor. Missouri residents who are at least 18 years-old and received at least one dose of the vaccine after July 21, are eligible to enter the red category for a chance to win. Adults who received at least one dose by July 21 can enter the white category.
Children between the ages of 12 and 17 can enter the Missouri state treasurer’s MOST 529 program. Entries will be carried over each draw for all categories.
The department confirmed the Show-Me State has already confirmed 2,229 new infections. It also reported 9,728 positive cases in the past seven days, with an average of 1,390 a day. The state’s total seven-day positivity rate increased to 14.2%, representing the highest level since Jan. 11.
BL understands the Delta strain is blamed for much of the virus’s proliferation in Missouri, particularly in the state’s southwestern and northern regions. Officials have cited low vaccination rates, particularly in rural areas.
The same variant was discovered in Kansas City wastewater treatment facilities. Ten Kansas City-area health departments issued a combined public health alert on July 23, advising unvaccinated individuals to cover their faces. Overall, 46.1% of the population had at least one dose with 40.2% having already been fully immunized.
Donald Kauerauf will take over as the department’s newest director on Sept. 1.
Kauerauf served as associate director of the Illinois Department of Public Health between 2016 and 2018. He was recently appointed chair of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, a position he has held throughout the pandemic.