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Alberta launches vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

EDMONTON — Alberta is launching a multimillion-dollar lottery in a bid to encourage more residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Premier Jason Kenney unveiled some details of the “Open for Summer Vaccine Lottery” in a video posted to his Twitter account.

The video, shot at a mass immunization centre in Edmonton, shows Kenney lamenting the lack of crowds at the facility and opining that not enough Alberta residents are seeking protection against COVID-19.

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other unspecified prizes.

He says the first instalment will be open to Albertans 18 or older who get at least their first dose of vaccine within a week of the day the province partially immunizes 70 per cent of the population.

He says the first grand prize draw will take place the day the province enters Phase 3 of its pandemic recovery plan, adding more details will be announced in the coming days.

“We need to just nudge those who haven’t gotten around to getting their vaccines yet,” Kenney said in the video posted Saturday.

“After all, we’ve had to spend billions of dollars in our health-care system and through supporting people through the past 16 tough months. So if we can just keep pushing up those numbers of people who are vaccinated, that will easily pay for itself in future savings.”

As of Friday, the province said almost 69 per cent of those 12 and older had received at least one dose of vaccine. About 729,000 people have had two shots.

Alberta is not the first jurisdiction to unveil incentives to make residents roll up their sleeves for a vaccine shot. Earlier this week, Manitoba announced it would be holding two lottery draws this summer with $100,000 prizes and $25,000 youth scholarships.

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1 Comment » for Alberta launches vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake
  1. Niki thachyk says:

    Coercion-from Britannica- in addition to the threat of or limited use of force (or both) coercion may entail economic sanctions, psychological pressures, and social ostracism. The concept of coercion should be distinguished from persuasion, which entails getting another party to follow a particular course of action or behaviour by appealing to the party’s reason and interests, as opposed to implying punitive measures. The use of coercion has been one of the key tools for acquiring dominion and sustaining governance by states, political groupings, and individuals.
    The manufacturers of these MRNA vaccines did not thoroughly examine biodistribution and pharmacokinetics issues before submitting the vaccine to the EMA for review-this is not disputed.
    Saying these vaccines are “safe and effective” is a catchphrase that carries the perception that there is no chance of harm. That is not the case. Informed consent is being sidestepped and more concerning is censorship of reputable scientists who have concerns, of doctors who have concerns or questions, and of individual citizens who attempt to share personal outcomes. If a government is willing to dangle a monetary reward in exchange for ‘getting back to normal’ with no balance of message and no recognition that immunity from previous infection has merit, that same body should be willing to accept all responsibility for any harms to health. There are therapeutics that are being used in other countries with great success for treatment and prevention. Vaccines are not our only way out.

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