By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on June 10, 2021
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) reports that as of June 10, 54% of the state’s adult population has received at least one dose of COVID vaccine and 50% has been fully vaccinated. Nationally, the CDC reports that 63.9% of American adults have received at least one dose and 53.3% are fully vaccinated — meaning the state is lagging behind national vaccination rates.
It’s also clear that vaccination demand in North Carolina, as in many other places, has slumped dramatically. For the week of June 7, for example, a total of 59,009 doses were administered, the lowest number of vaccinations given since late December.
And at a mid-afternoon June 10 press briefing, Governor Roy Cooper declared that “We know more must be done to encourage people to get their shots.” “We need to do better on vaccinations,” added NCDHHS Director Mandy Cohen as she pointed to the higher vaccination rates in “many other states.”
In response, Cooper unveiled a dramatic new strategy on June 10, one that he said signals that “We’re pulling out all the stops.” That strategy is a lottery-style incentive program dubbed “Your Shot at a Million.”
Under the program, which will feature Summer Cash and College Tuition drawings from June 23 through Aug. 4, four vaccinated North Carolinians 18 and older will win $1 million each and four state residents between 12 and 17 will win tuition for post-secondary education.
North Carolinians 18 and over who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be automatically entered into four drawings for a chance to win a $1 million cash prize. Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be automatically entered into four drawings to win $125,000 towards post-secondary education. The $125,000 can be used at any post-secondary institution and is awarded in the form of a NC 529 account.
In an additional sweetener, Those vaccinated on or after the June 10 announcement will be entered twice for each drawing. Cooper also said the state was using federal Coronavirus Relief Funds for the program.
And in the event that someone does not become a millionaire, the governor noted that, “The worst you’ll do is get strong protection from a deadly virus.”
In response to a reporter’s question at the briefing, the governor also said he would have an announcement on Friday June 11 about the current Executive Order regarding the pandemic—which expires on that same day. He declined to divulge any further details.