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Maryland offers $2M in prizes for getting COVID-19 booster

Maryland is hoping a financial shot in the arm will entice state residents to get a COVID-19 booster.

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A $2 million lottery would be split between 12 randomly selected adults who had received an additional dose, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday.

Half a million dollars would be awarded to a boosted adult on Feb. 15, followed by ten weekly $50,000 prizes, the Republican said. The one million dollar haul would then be handed out at the end of the promotion.

The initiative came on the heels of similar lotteries for vaccinated residents last spring and summer, which were touted as successes that helped to drive Maryland’s vaccination rate to 73 percent, seven points above the national average.

Ninety-five percent of adults in the state had gotten at least one jab, but less than half of adults had received a booster shot, according to state health data.

Hogan announced that there would be ten weekly $50,000 prizes.
Maryland GovPics
Person receives vaccine.
The lottery is an attempt to pump up Maryland’s vaccination rate.

“The biggest takeaway from the Omicron surge is just how critically important it is to get a booster shot,” said Hogan.

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“It is clear that getting fully protected with a booster is the single most important thing you can do right now to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and its variants and to help us all finally move on from this pandemic.”

Similar COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes had also been introduced in other states last year.

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