Canada

Details about Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery coming Monday

EDMONTON —
The ins and outs of Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery – which will see three people win $1 million – will be revealed Monday.

Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro are slated to speak at 12:30 p.m. about what they’re calling the “Open for Summer Lottery.”

Watch the news conference live at CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

Kenney announced the province’s plan to incentivize residents to get immunized against the novel coronavirus over the weekend, noting slowing demand at Alberta’s vaccine clinics.

 Alberta will move to Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which includes the removal of almost all restrictions, two weeks after 70 per cent of eligible Albertans have received a first dose.

According to the latest data, about 68.5 per cent of Alberta’s eligible population had been vaccinated with at least one dose.

“We need to just nudge those who haven’t gotten around to getting their vaccines yet,” Kenney said. “Please do your part, because now a vaccine shot is also your shot at $1 million.”

An associate professor in University of Calgary’s law faculty and Cumming School of Medicine said while the lottery could encourage more Albertans to get vaccinated, it may also be seen as affirming by anti-vaxxers or a political move.

“(Some) feel like 70 per cent vaccination target is not based on public heath evidence but rather was an arbitrary number that was designed to get us to certain summer activities like the Stampede, and that the government is all of a sudden is trying to push us towards that 70 per cent through collecting vaccine data from snowbirds … and now creating this lottery,” Lorian Hardcastle told CTV News Edmonton.

She also said a lottery may set a precedent or expectation, rather than increasing public trust in vaccination.  

But some Albertans are excited to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I think we all need it for the herd immunity, so if that’s one thing that pushes people to get back to the vaccine, it will help us get back to normal,” Ravinder Greywall told CTV News Calgary.

“Whatever it takes so that we can get opened up again,” added Calgarian Karen Bruce.

Manitoba was the first Canadian province to announce a COVID-19 vaccine lottery with $2 million in prizes.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Adam Lachacz and CTV News Calgary


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