Sally Sliger, of Mead, is the first million dollar winner
A Weld County health worker has won the first million dollar Colorado vaccine lottery draw and urged those who have not been immune to COVID-19 to get vaccinated now.
Sally Sliger, of Mead, said she got the shot in April so her family can start gathering again for birthdays and other celebrations. Winning the lottery was a “surreal” bonus, and she and her husband will use the money to pay off their sons’ student loans and take care of some house projects, she said.
“A stable future is worth all the money in the world, but it doesn’t hurt to take a chance on the lottery,” she said at a press conference with Governor Jared Polis on Friday afternoon. .
The state will raffle four more winners over the next four weeks. A separate drawing, for children aged 12 to 17 who have been vaccinated, will choose 25 winners who will each receive a university scholarship of $ 50,000. People who want to be eligible for next week’s designs must get their first snapshot before Sunday.
The prize money comes from federal funds to promote immunization. The funds also pay for vaccine advertising and mobile units that bring the vaccine to underserved areas.
Polis said the chance to win $ 1 million is a way to get procrastinators off the bench, so their protection will start sooner and be more effective than just investing more money in advertising.
“We’re always looking to get the best return on the money the federal government has given us,” he said.
So far, the lottery has not led to an increase in the number of people getting vaccinated, although Polis said it could have helped prevent a bigger slip. In Ohio, the number of newly administered vaccines jumped about 33% after the state announced its vaccine lottery, but it should be noted that Ohio still distributes fewer vaccines relative to the population than it does. Colorado.
Colorado’s COVID-19 vaccinations peaked in the first week of April, with more than 423,000 gunshots. The number has declined every week since, with approximately 144,000 doses administered during the week ending May 23.
It appears that black and Latino Coloradans have always received fewer vaccines than their share of the population, although it’s unclear exactly how big the gap is. More than 12% of immunization records contain no information on race and ethnicity.
The age disparities are less marked than they were in previous months, with only people under the age of 30 still under-represented in the vaccine group. Vaccines were initially only available to people 16 years of age or older, but anyone 12 years of age or older can now receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement on Friday urging parents to get their teens vaccinated, after a study found teens may be at higher risk of severe COVID-19 than previously thought before. The study was small, involving about 200 young people in hospital, but found that about a third of them needed intensive care, according to the Washington Post.
Colorado counties differ considerably in their level of protection.
In 10 counties, more than 70% of the eligible population received at least one dose of the vaccine; in San Juan and San Miguel counties it is over 80%. In 33 counties, however, less than half of the eligible population has been vaccinated, and less than 20% is even partially protected in Bent and Crowley counties. The range is similar when comparing the proportion of the population that has completed their vaccination sequence.
As most counties experience a sustained decline in COVID-19 cases, the virus is spreading widely in Mesa County and has prompted hospitals to increase their capacity. As of Friday afternoon, 431 people were hospitalized statewide with the virus, Polis said.
“It’s so unnecessary at this point,” the governor said. “There is just no need for this ongoing pandemic when we have the tools to stop it. “