Edwards encourages vaccination as Delta COVID-19 variant spreads

Staff Report

As the more contagious Delta COVID-19 variant spreads across Louisiana, now is the time for Louisianans to take the vaccine to protect themselves against COVID-19 and registering for the “Shot At A Million” drawing.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging residents to take advantage to protect themselves from COVID-19 as more contagious variant spreads across Louisiana.

The more contagious Delta COVID-19 variant became the dominant strain in the country, making up 52 percent of all cases. In the region that includes Louisiana, 59 percent of all cases are the more contagious Delta variant, which has in turn increased the number of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the percent positivity of tests.

Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health remind Louisianans that while the first Shot At A Million drawing has passed, plenty of time remains to register.

The good news is that, in addition to making Louisianans eligible for $2.3 million in prizes, the COVID-19 vaccines are effective against COVID-19 and the variants circulating in Louisiana. To date, more than 46 percent of eligible Louisianans have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to CDC data.

Gov. John Bel Edwards

“We saw a bump in vaccinations when we announced Shot At A Million. This is good news – we are now in the most challenging phase of the vaccine rollout to date, and this is now a game of inches. But we do need more residents to go sleeves up to protect themselves and their loved ones against this more contagious variant,” Dr. Joseph Kanter, state health officer, said. “Already more than 1.8 million Louisianans have taken their first dose of the COVID vaccine, which is safe, effective and widely available at locations across Louisiana at no cost to the public.”

Through Shot At A Million, Louisiana will reward 14 winners with $2.3 million in cash and prizes, including nine $100,000 scholarships, four $100,000 prizes and one $1 million grand prize. Since Shot At A Million was announced on June 17, there have been 603,858 online submissions for ShotAtAMillion.com.

“It’s encouraging to see more people joining the more than 1.8 million Louisianans who have already taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially as the more contagious Delta variant spreads in Louisiana and across the country,” Edwards said.  “We cannot afford to ignore this more dangerous variant. Regardless of if you do it because of the concern about the Delta variant or because you want to win a million dollars, now is an excellent time to roll up your sleeves and take the COVID-19 shot.

“The Shot At A Million giveaway is a fun way to celebrate and reward people who have taken the vaccine, which has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19. Vaccinated people are far less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, let alone to die from it. You have until tomorrow night to get in on the first Shot At A Million giveaway. Don’t throw away your shot to be protected against COVID – and to win a million dollars.”

HOW TO REGISTER FOR SHOT AT A MILLION:

Visit ShotAtAMillion.com when you have taken your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and complete the online registration form.

Residents who do not have access to the internet or who have questions can call the toll-free hotline at (8770 356-1511 to register.

WHO CAN REGISTER FOR SHOT AT A MILLION:

Louisiana residents who have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are age 18 or older may enter to win one of four $100,000 prizes and the grand prize of $1 million. Louisianans who have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are between the ages of 12 and 17 may enter to win one of nine $100,000 scholarships. Louisianans are eligible if they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the drawing date – regardless of when they were vaccinated.

HOW TO GET A COVID-19 VACCINE IN LOUISIANA:

The three FDA-authorized COVID vaccines are very easy to find in Louisiana. People can call the vaccine hotline at (855) 453-0774 between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The vaccine hotline can answer vaccine questions, schedule appointments, help people find a vaccine provider or community event near them, and connect people to medical professionals.

The federal government also runs Vaccines.gov, which helps people locate vaccination locations near them.

People can also text their ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish, to get the contact information of three locations near them with available vaccines.

Louisiana will have four weekly drawings for one $100,000 scholarship and one $100,000 cash prize. The final grand prize drawing on Aug. 6 will award a $1 million cash award and five $100,000 scholarships. Overall awards will total $2.3 million, paid using federal COVID outreach dollars.

SCHEDULE OF DRAWINGS:

· Enter by July 16, by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the July 21 drawing

· Enter by July 23, by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the July 28 drawing

· Enter by July 30, by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the August 4 drawing

· Enter by July 31, by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the August 6 Grand Prize Drawing

Winners will be announced two days after the drawing to allow time to confirm vaccination status. The Grand Prize winners will be announced on Aug. 13. For more information, visit ShotAtAMillion.com.