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Delaware is launching a vaccine incentive program, that includes cash prizes, in an effort to boost vaccinations at a time when demand is down.

Delawareans, ages 12 and older, who are vaccinated between May 25 and June 29, and any Delawarean ages 12 to 17 vaccinated to date, will be entered into a contest where they can win a cash prize of $5,000.

Additional prizes will be offered in twice-weekly drawings on Mondays and Fridays by the Delaware Lottery from May 31 through June 30.

"The only thing you have to do to be entered is get vaccinated; there's no entry forms that are needed; it doesn't matter where you are vaccinated to be entered for the raffles. DPH will use the data from our DelVax system to provide to the DE Lottery with anonymized numbers, and the lottery will randomize the numbers and pull out a winner," explained Dr. Karyl Ratay, director of the Division of Public Health. 

Winners, like with any lottery prize, can remain anonymous.

Other prizes offered as part of the De Wins! campaign include:

  • A four-day vacation (no location was given)
  • A full scholarship to a Delaware university, including Delaware Tech, Delaware State University, or the University of Delaware
  • An annual Delaware State Parks pass
  • Tickets and camping accommodations at Firefly
  • Free tolls within the state of Delaware for a year
  • An annual DART pass
  • Prize packs from Funland, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, and the Delmarva Shore Birds

All Delawareans vaccinated during this time-frame will also receive a $10 gift Visa gift card or gift cards to Wawa or Grottos, if they were vaccinated at clinics managed by the Division of Public Health (DPH) or the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA).

Small businesses in the state will also offer incentives to customers who get vaccinated over this next month, with the Division of Small Business reimbursing restaurants, bars, breweries and gyms, for the incentives, the state said.

On June 30, when the campaign culminates, Delawareans who received the COVID-19 vaccine, since vaccinations began being offered in January, will be eligible for a cash prize of $302,000 and two low-number Delaware license plates. We're told those low-digit plates are in the triple-digits.

"We wanted to make this fun; we wanted to make it very Delaware," said Gov. John Carney.

"Incentives do drive uptick; they drive positive health behaviors," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health.

The incentive program comes as the state seeks to achieve a 70% vaccination rate goal by July 4. So far, Delaware has administered more than 885,000 does of vaccine. As many as 65% of Delawareans 18 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine. Of those 16 and older, 368,848 Delawareans are considered fully vaccinated, according to the state's vaccine tracker

"You have some that were a little bit hesitant, some that are more hesitant, some that don't want to be vaccinated at all--we're trying to get to each of those populations and try to get them over the line," said the governor.

The vaccine incentive program will be paid for with federal funds, Carney said.

Gov. Carney added he doesn't believe offering incentives devalues the vaccine or would create challenges in the future.

"We're just pretty focused on getting people to get vaccinated in the short-term, obviously, to meet our goal, and so that we can bring businesses back online and reduce some of the real challenges that people are encountering with a particular focus on getting our students back in school. The cost of not doing this, of not doing everything we can to get people vaccinated are enormous," he said.

Visit DEwins.org for full details on prizes and eligibility.