A new province-wide lottery will give three lucky Albertans aged 18 and older who received the vaccination a chance to win $1 million over the next several months.
Premier Jason Kenney said he wants to give Albertans every reason they can to get vaccinated.
"This lottery program is another incentive to get full two-dose protection as soon as possible," he said. "I encourage all eligible Albertans to do their part and roll up their sleeves so we can save lives, protect our communities and get life back to normal."
In a Monday announcement, the Alberta government furthered its commitment to reaching the 70 percent threshold as part of its Open for Summer plan, by holding three draws for $1 million each to incentivize Albertans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
To opt-in for the lottery, visit alberta.ca/lottery starting June 14.
Beginning today, any Alberta resident 18 and older who has received the first dose of vaccine can register to enter for the first $1-million prize. Eligibility for the first $1 million will close seven days after the province beats its Stage 3 target of 70 percent first-dose vaccination of Albertans 12 and older. The first winner will be announced when Stage 3 of Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan begins.
Dr. Noel Gibney of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association Pandemic Response Committee said he hopes the province can get those people on the fence to get vaccinated and encourages the province to hold additional lotteries to ensure higher two-dose vaccination rates.
The Alberta government also announced that two additional lotteries will follow on August 31 and September 30 to bolster full vaccination rates across the province, with registration closing a week prior for both.
"We know that two doses of vaccine are necessary for effective, long-lasting protection against COVID-19," said Health Minister Tyler Shandro. "If you haven’t yet, please book your first or second shot appointments today. By doing so, you will be eligible to participate in this vaccine lottery – the first of its kind in our province."
He praised the lottery as an investment in Albertans and the province’s economic future and is hopeful in a final upswing in vaccinations to achieve widespread immunity.
More than 2.63 million or 68.7 percent of eligible Albertans having received their first dose, including 20.2 percent who are fully vaccinated with two doses.
The premier indicated that as of June 13, there are 60,429 appointments booked over the next seven days for the first doses.
Alberta is projected to hit the 70 percent milestone on June 18.
"Albertans have already responded in such a big way to our vaccine program and we’ve been able to lift many health restrictions because of their efforts," said Kenney. "We just need one final push so we can lift them all and get back to normal."
"We all want to get to that point at the end of damaging health restrictions, especially with Canada Day coming up fast. I certainly hope as we normally do with outdoor celebrations in our neighbourhoods and communities, backyard barbecues with families and family and friends, and of course fireworks to top it all off."
He credited Alberta Health Services, provincial partners, and the 1340 pharmacies across the province for helping Alberta become one of the leading provinces in Canada for its vaccine rollout. But the premier urges that the clock is ticking.
"If we're to have a back to normal Canada Day, we have to hit 70 percent first dose vaccination no later than this coming Thursday, Thursday, June 17," he said.
Currently, Alberta is 48,361 first-dose appointments away from reaching that goal.
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