Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Wednesday afternoon there will be a new vaccine incentive plan statewide.
The MO VIP campaign will give vaccinated Missourians a chance to win $10,000.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, over the next three months, 900 Missourians who have or will choose to be vaccinated will win cash or education savings account prizes in the amount of $10,000.
All Missourians who have received at least one dose will be eligible for one of the 900 prizes. The first drawing will be on Aug. 1, and drawings will occur every two weeks with the final drawing on Oct. 8.
Entries will be divided into three different categories.
Red — Missourians age 18 and up receiving at least one dose of vaccine after July 21.
White — Missourians age 18 and up receiving at least one dose of the vaccine before July 21.
Blue — Missourians ages 12 to 17 receiving at least one dose of vaccine at any time may register for a chance to win a $10,000 education savings account.
Eighty winners will be randomly be selected during each drawing from the Red and White categories (10 from each congressional district). These individuals will each receive a cash prize of $10,000. During each drawing, 20 adolescents from the Blue category will be randomly selected to receive a $10,000 education savings account through the Missouri State Treasurer’s MOST 529 program. This means every two weeks of the program, 180 Missourians will be winners for a total of 900 individuals. These preliminary winners will all have their vaccination status verified, the release said.
Missouri’s next DHSS Director, Donald Kauerauf, also was announced and introduced at the governor’s press conference Wednesday. He has 30 years of experience in public health and emergency management and most recently served as assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health from 2016 until his retirement in 2018.
Missouri counties still behind
In Northwest Missouri, counties are falling below the state vaccination percentage of 40.4% who have completed vaccination.
Buchanan County’s percentage, at 19.7%, is about half of what the state vaccination percentage is. Of Northwest Missouri counties, there are two outliers with Atchison County at 42% and Nodaway County at 38%.
Nodaway County Health Department Administrator Tom Patterson said all of Northwest Missouri is working together to get vaccinated. He said the supply now outweighs the demand but they are working to still have a significant weekly allotment of vaccines.
”We have been successful in the vaccines we are able to do because we’ve got good partners here locally, we work closely with the hospital coordinating with the university, and have coordinated with pharmacies here,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he wants to continue to stress how important the vaccine is in protecting against severe cases of COVID-19 and the delta variant.
“Vaccines are still very effective against those (variants), and they’re very effective at reducing the severity of illness, so yeah, we’re just trying to get people to participate in the vaccine campaign,” Patterson said.