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Bryan Expands Prize Amount Of Vax Lottery To $2M, Includes Folks With 1 Dose

CHRISTIANSTED — Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced that he is expanding the general vaccine lottery to include USVI residents who have received only one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine — increasing the total prize amount from $1 million to $2 million — and will now hold 10 consecutive weekly drawings per district beginning July 9, 2021.

Every Virgin Islander vaccinated in the territory will be automatically entered in the general vaccine lottery as part of the Office of the Governor’s “Vax to Win USVI” public outreach campaign. Winners who are fully vaccinated will win a cash prize of $100,000, and winners who have received just one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine will win a cash prize of $50,000.

The initial announcement specified that only fully vaccinated USVI residents would be eligible to participate and that 10 consecutive drawings would be held territorywide.

The expanded eligibility also extends to the special drawing for school-based workers and bus drivers. The special drawing is aimed at ensuring school campuses are ready for in-person learning in the 2021-2022 school year.

The Office of the Governor will also launch an official “Vax to Win USVI” website, www.VaxtoWinUSVI.com, at noon on Monday. The site will feature the official rules, the dates for drawings and announcement of winners, as well as a section for school-based employees to register for the special drawing.

“This outreach campaign is really about increasing awareness about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging our residents to get vaccinated,” Governor Bryan said. “This week we learned that the B.1.1.7 variant – which is much more contagious than the original virus – is now in the territory, and that is a cause for serious concern with less than 50 percent of our population fully vaccinated. The vaccine is our best shot at beating this pandemic and getting our lives back to normal.”

The V.I. Department of Health, on Thursday, confirmed the first COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7 in the territory and urged more Virgin Islanders to vaccinate.

The U.S. Virgin Islands has remained under a State of Emergency since March of 2020 when the first COVID-19 case was identified in the territory. Since then, the VI Department of Health of has administered close to 128,000 COVID-19 tests with 3,855 testing positive. More than 35,000 individuals have been fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, some folks said they feel wealthy enough just having the privilege of living in this American paradise.

“Why don’t we invest that money to repair the BMV in St. Thomas or open a second location on the East side?” Ted Gutierrez asked on Facebook.

“Where’s the prize money coming from?” Sheila Metor asked from St. Thomas.

In March, the U.S. Department of Treasury gave the states and territories the OK to use coronavirus relief funds to offer cash incentives to encourage residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, USA Today said.

Ohio began five weekly $1 million lottery drawings for the vaccinated on May 26 and Governor Mike DeWine said the promotion boosted state vaccinations by 45 percent, according to Forbes.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is committed to transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit transparency.vi.gov

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/05/25/covid-vaccine-feds-ok-lotteries-cash-incentives-vaccinations/7436394002/

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