FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday a $116.5 million vaccine incentive program to convince more Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine by June 15, the day the state plans to fully reopen its economy.
The incentive plan includes:
- A $50 prepaid or grocery card for the next 2 million Californians who begin and complete their vaccination.
- 10 winners (to be selected on June 15) to win prizes of $1.5 million each. Californians with at least one dose of the vaccine are entered.
- 30 winners will be selected to win $50,000 each. Half of the winners will be selected June 4 and the other half on June 11.
“These are real incentives. These are an opportunity to say thank you to those not only seeking to get vaccinated as we move forward but also those who have been vaccinated,” Newsom said.
According to the governor’s office, “the funding will initially come out of the state’s General Fund, provided through DREOA. However, it will be backfilled by federal funds, as this activity is considered an allowable use of funds under American Rescue Plan Act.”
“This is about as I think wise a use of resources as we can identify in terms of a public health emergency that needs to be tackled head-on,” Newsom said. The goal is to have more than 70% of eligible Californians vaccinated with at least one dose by June 15.
Newsom says those who are undocumented are eligible for the prizes if they get vaccinated or are already vaccinated. The winners’ names can remain confidential.
In Fresno County, incentives have been provided at some mobile vaccination clinics. Fresno County Department of Public Health Interim Assistant Director Joe Prado says they work.
“The comments we’re getting back from some of our community members is that ‘I was on the fence and that was that little nudge to push me to get vaccinated,'” Prado said.