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Governor Polis Announces "Colorado Comeback Cash" Vaccine Incentive Through the Colorado Lottery

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Screen capture, Governor Polis Press Conference
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Colorado Governor Jared Polis is announcing Colorado Comeback Cash, a new program to incentivize vaccination. And the money is nothing to sneeze at, as there’s a million bucks on the line.

KSUT’s Sarah Flower explains.

Interview transcript:

Sarah Flower : Vaccine incentives are becoming a popular approach to encourage those eligible to get their COVID-19 shot. "Colorado Comeback Cash" is a new program that's partnered with the Colorado Department of Revenue, Colorado Lottery and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Comback Cash is offering $1 million to five eligible Coloradans that have started the vaccine process by June 1. As of today, 58.5% of all eligible Coloradans have received at least one dose, while more than half of the state is fully vaccinated. Colorado Governor Jared Polis says this type of financial incentive has worked in other states by increasing vaccine distribution by double digits. He's hopeful the same will be true for Colorado.

Governor Polis: We have seen this kind of drawing work in states like Ohio, where they saw a surge in interest from launching their drawing. And we expect that we'll see the same thing here. All you have to do to enter is get vaccinated. And whether you've been vaccinated once or twice, Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, everybody has that chance of winning this lottery. We are thrilled to be able to put $5 million towards this. We feel it will have a lot bigger impact on driving vaccination than if we were running TV ads, I'd say to get vaccinated. And best of all, the benefit goes to five lucky Coloradans who did the right thing and protected themselves.

Sarah Flower: The money will be coming from the Cares Act that Polis says would have otherwise been spent on vaccine advertisements. To be eligible for the million dollars, you must be 18 years of age and older and have at least started your vaccine process. And if you've already been vaccinated, Polis says your information is already included in the CDPHE database for the lottery. The five drawings will be held each week starting on June 4, with the last drawing being held on July 7. Polis says that in the coming week or so, those Coloradans ages 12 to 17 will also have an incentive to get vaccinated.

Governor Polis: Our team at higher ed is also working on the scholarship piece, which we'll announce later this week or next week for exactly what 12 to 17 year olds win. And I'm very excited to say that we're very close to 20% of 12 and 17 year olds that have gotten their first dose in our state.

Sarah Flower: Polis says that anyone that's been vaccinated by Indian Health Services, including the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian Tribes and not through CDPHE will also be included in the drawing. He says the odds of winning a million dollars are one in 500,000. Vaccine incentives are also being offered regionally. San Juan Basin Public Health Department is launching their "Our Shot Rewards" COVID vaccine promotion in partnership with the Durango business improvement district. Residents who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a select San Juan Basin Public Health Clinic this week will receive their "Our Shot Rewards" coupon sheet, including $80 of free and discounted items. * Starting next week in Pagosa Springs, San Juan Basin Public Health Department is offering $5,000 scratcher tickets at their vaccine sites. Reporting for KSUT News, I'm Sarah Flower.  

* The original story said "starting this Friday". The information has since been updated to "starting next week."

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