KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s vaccination rate rose more than 14% in the seven days after Gov. Mike Parson announced a COVID-19 vaccine lottery, which will provide $10,000 in cash or contributions to education savings accounts for 900 residents, as part of a monthlong surge in the state's vaccination rate.
Correlation doesn’t equal causation, so it’s unclear how much of a driving force the vaccine lottery, which vaccinated residents must enter online, has been behind the recent increase. But it clearly hasn't hurt the state's vaccination efforts.
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The delta variant’s emergence as the dominant COVID-19 strain has fueled a rising number of new cases and sent hospitalizations, primarily among unvaccinated individuals, which may have prompted some people to seek protection against the virus.
But it’s clear that more Missourians are seeking vaccinations in recent weeks.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported that 17,036 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered July 23, two days after the lottery announcement.
That was the most in a single day since more than 20,000 vaccine doses were administered May 21, according to the state health department’s dashboard.
Missouri’s vaccination rate peaked with more than 50,000 doses administered per day on average from March 29 to April 15, but it dropped below 15,000 per day by late May and bottomed out in the week after Independence Day.
Vaccination rates started to creep up again in mid-July. The rate has climbed 77% since July 6 from a seven-day rolling average of 7,252 to 12,386 through Wednesday.
After a seven-day rolling average dropped below 10,000 vaccinations per day from June 19 through July 14, but the rate started to rise again during the last two weeks.
The seven-day rolling average climbed every day from July 6 until Wednesday, when Missouri reported only 6,006 vaccinations — a sharp decline from the previous Wednesday when more than 14,000 vaccinations were reported.