An email went out yesterday notifying Mesa County residents of their chance to win big bucks with the only requirement being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, something as we’ve unfortunately been witnessing recently is not happening in great enough numbers to ward off spread of the deadly Delta variant:
In conjunction with the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) announces a community vaccination effort in the form of a cash incentive campaign. Cash prizes, including (2) $500 weekly prizes and a grand prize that could build up to $90,000, are up for grabs!
Here’s how it works–as the percentage of Mesa County residents gets vaccinated (currently at a problematically low 42%), a jackpot that could reach $90,000 by the July 31 deadline grows. As of today, the “Big Shot” jackpot is sitting at $56,264. This is in addition to weekly $500 cash prizes given to two lucky vaccinated Mesa County residents:
All entries will be eligible for the Grand Prize, which starts at $45,000, and builds based on the number of vaccinated residents…
Grand Prize will be determined based on the total number of fully vaccinated Mesa County Residents according to Colorado Immunization Information System data on July 31, 2021. One dollar ($1) will be awarded for each Mesa County Resident the system reflects as fully vaccinated (defined as receiving a second dose in a two-dose series or single dose vaccine) against COVID-19. For example, if the records indicate 85,242 people are fully vaccinated, the Grand Prize would be $85,242.
It’s necessary for vaccinated Mesa County residents to register for the prize and also provide proof of vaccination if they’re selected as a winner. The requirement to register to win cuts down on the pool of entrants enough provide much better odds of winning than the now-concluded statewide vaccine lottery, and growing the jackpot based on the county’s vaccine percentage is a clever incentive. Whether or not this contest persuades excitable Mesa County residents who haven’t taken advantage of widely available free vaccines for months now to get their shots is anybody’s guess, but credit to Mesa County should be awarded for doing something to improve their dangerously poor vaccination rate.
Based on her response to the statewide vaccine lottery in June, though, Mesa County’s representative in Congress Rep. Lauren Boebert is not going to approve:
Polis’ vaccine lottery raffle sounds a lot like “Hey little girl, I got some candy if you come with me.”
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) June 1, 2021
What a golden opportunity this would be for Mesa County’s GOP commissioners to finally stand up to Boebert’s relentless onslaught of deadly COVID-19 misinformation–at a moment when doing so could literally save the lives of their mutual constituents. That’s not going to happen, of course, and cowardice before the 800-pound gorilla in the room more than subtracts any points awarded for a clever promotional gimmick.
It’s all pretty sad, really.