By Jeri Chadwell, This Is Reno
LAS VEGAS–Gov. Steve Sisolak and Nevada Department of Health and Human Services officials today announced a partnership with Immunize Nevada to give away $5 million in cash and prizes to nearly 2,000 Nevada residents who have initiated the COVID-19 vaccine process.
It’s a public health initiative called “Vax Nevada Days.”
“Ensuring that as many eligible Nevadans as possible get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is critical in our mission to protect our communities and our State,” Sisolak said. “It’s how we avoid ever again experiencing what we went through in the last year with COVID-19.”
Sisolak noted that while the state has more than 50% of its eligible residents at least partially vaccinated, more needs to be done.
“This vaccine incentive promotion is our way to give vaccination efforts an extra boost and encourage all Nevadans to get their shot so our state can recover and build back stronger,” he said.
Every Nevadan 12 years old or older who has had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be automatically entered into the drawing for prizes, which are being managed by International Game Technology (IGT).
The prizes include a grand prize of $1 million cash, for which Nevadans 18 and older are eligible. It will also include 149 cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $250,000 for those 18 and older. For children ages 12 to 17, a total of 135 college savings accounts ranging between $5,000 to $50,000 are being offered. Other prizes include annual entrance permits to Nevada state parks and Nevada fishing licenses.
Drawings will be held every Thursday, July 8 through Aug. 26, when the grand prize drawing for $1 million will be held.
The state is also working hard to ensure that members of the military, veterans and their families within Nevada who received their vaccine through the federal program also have the opportunity to participate in Vax Nevada Days.
According to the governor’s office, IGT is donating its time and technology “to ensure the drawings are conducted in a fair and legal manner.”
The governor’s office clarified that while IGT will assist the program, it “will not receive personally identifiable information.”
“We are excited to leverage IGT’s expertise in secure prize draw procedures and project administration to help ensure the integrity of the important Vax Nevada Days health initiative,” said Scott Gunn, a vice president at IGT. “IGT has a vast history and large employee base in Nevada, and we’re glad to play our part in enabling a successful campaign to protect the health and well-being of its citizens.”
More information can be found at www.VaxNevadaDays.org.
Nevada is the latest state to announce COVID-19 vaccination incentives. Ohio was the first state to announce them on May 12. Other states followed, including California, Kentucky, Oregon, Massachusetts and Washington.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 53% of people nationally have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That includes a little more than 87% of people 65 years of age and older. More than 44% of all people are fully vaccinated.