KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missourians who receive the COVID-19 vaccine will now have a chance to win $10,000.
Gov. Mike Parson announced on Wednesday the new vaccine incentive program, Missouri VIP Campaign, which begins Aug. 13 and runs through Oct. 8.
Entries will be divided into three categories – red, white and blue – and winners will be drawn every two weeks, Parson said.
Residents who are 18 years old or older and will have received at least one vaccine dose on or after July 21 are in the red category, while those in the same age bracket who were vaccinated before July 21 are in the white category.
Blue encompasses residents who are 12 to 17 years old and received at least one vaccine dose at any time.
Parson said he understands some Missourians are "on the fence" about whether or not to be vaccinated.
"That is why we encourage you to engage in conversation with your personal doctor, your local health care officials or other trusted comm leaders so that you can get the facts and decide when getting vaccinated is right for you," he said.
While Parson said vaccines are available "in every corner of our state," only 47% of all Missourians have received at least one dose.
"We must all take personal responsiblity and do what is right to protect our own health and that of our friends and our families," he said.
More than 80% of Missourians who are 65 years old and older have received at least one vaccine dose, according to Parson, but less than 30% in the 12- to 34-year-old age group have done so.
Trusted community voices "relaying complete and fact-based information" is how the state will increase its vaccination rate, Parson said.
"I ask you to turn off the clutter, the doom and gloom scenarios that are out there across our state," he said. "All the misinformation that’s out there, all the people who have a political agenda to talk about this virus, and I ask you to go to the health care leaders in your communities, to the people that you trust, to your doctors, to your clergies, to people that you know that will give you good information and be able to make your judgments on getting your vaccine."
Residents can enter the vaccine lottery online.
Parson and first lady Teresa Parson are ineligible for the vaccine lottery, along with anyone incarcerated for a felony, statewide elected officials, members of Congress and the state General Assembly, Parson’s appointees, employees in the governor’s, treasurer’s and administration offices, the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri Lottery. Members of ineligible peoples’ households also are not able to enter.
Local providers who offer vaccines also can receive a $25 incentive for each person vaccinated, up to $11 million, Parson said. The provider incentive will run through December 31.
More information for provider incentives can be found on the MOStopsCOVID website.