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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Explained: What is New York’s ‘Vax and Scratch’ programme?

These scratch-off lottery tickets have a maximum prize of $5 million and a minimum prize of $20.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 22, 2021 8:53:58 am
In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in West New York. (AP)

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new vaccination programme that will provide free lottery tickets to those individuals over the age of 18 years who choose to get vaccinated from one of the ten state-run sites.

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Vaccination in the US

In the US, nearly 280 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far. Overall, about 160 million (48.2 per cent of the population) people have received at least one dose and about 126 million (38.1 per cent of the population) people have been fully vaccinated.

Since the vaccination drive started in the US, the number of doses administered daily peaked on April 1, when over 4 million doses were administered. But since reaching the peak, the pace of vaccination has slowed down. On May 17, for instance, about 1.3 million doses were administered. Therefore, some states in the country are now adopting strategies that incentivise people to get vaccinated. Apart from New York, the state of Ohio also started a “Vax-a-million” program.

What is the ‘Vax and Scratch’ program?

In order to incentivise people from the state of New York to get vaccinated, Cuomo has announced that lottery tickets that are otherwise sold for $20 by retailers across the state, will be given free of cost to those above the age of 18 who get vaccinated from either of the ten sites located in New York City, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Western New York regions with either the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine or the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

These scratch-off lottery tickets have a maximum prize of $5 million and a minimum prize of $20. “We’re doing everything we can to make getting a vaccine as quick and easy as possible, but as vaccination rates slow across the state, we’re going to have to get creative to put even more shots in arms,” Cuomo was quoted as saying in a statement.

A report in the Associated Press said that there is a one in a nine chance of winning a lottery in the state of New York.

What’s the status of the vaccination campaign in New York?

As of May 20, the state has vaccinated nearly 63 per cent (9,907,926) of the population over the age of 18 years. Overall, 51 per cent (10,174,323) of the total population of the state has received at least one dose. Further, while 42.9 per cent of the total population is fully vaccinated, 53.5 per cent of the population in the 18 plus age group is fully vaccinated.

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