SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Health officials in Northwest Louisiana are hoping the “Shot At A Million” lottery will help boost local vaccination rates, which have dramatically slowed in recent weeks.
According to Office of Public Health Region 7 Director Dr. Martha Whyte, local providers were giving out 1,000 doses per day. Now, they are down to three or four hundred per week.
“We would love to see more people come in,” said Ochsner LSU Health St Mary Medical Center Chris Mangin. “Again, we’ve got plenty of vaccinations. It’s just a matter of getting people to roll up their sleeves and get the shot.”
Mangin says Ochsner LSU Health has administered a total of just over 600 doses in Shreveport over the past three weeks. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, just under 29 percent of the population in Region 7 is fully vaccinated. Statewide, the vaccination rate stands at just over 33 percent.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the lottery incentive program last week, offering a shot at $2.3 million in cash and scholarship prizes — including a $1 million grand prize.
Dr. Whyte hopes those who have hesitated or held off on getting the shot so far will be motivated by the relatively decent odds for winning.
“If you think about it, your chances of winning are a lot better than winning any other lottery that you’re going to enter, because it’s just a third of our state right now are eligible to enter and it’s just our state.”
“Anything that excites people to come and get that vaccine. I am 100 percent behind,” Mangin said.
To participate, Louisiana residents must be able to prove they have taken at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose and they must register at https://shotatamillion.com/. They may also register by phone at 1-877-356-1511. Registration opened Monday, June 21 at noon.
A person only needs to sign up once to be entered into all five weeks of drawings, which will be handled by the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and paid with federal coronavirus relief aid.