Some have suggested Missouri's vaccine incentive seems a questionable way to spend $9 million in public funds as a way to convince more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
It is a big pot of money, and there are no guarantees it will lead to higher vaccination rates in our state.
However, we think it has the potential to boost the vaccination rate at a time when the Delta variant is causing our whole nation to slide backward.
So we're pleased to see such a big initial response to the lottery. Right out of the gate, 78,000 people registered for the MO VIP incentives program. It will give $10,000 to 900 Missourians who have had at least one shot.
In addition, more than 500,000 people visited the website after Gov. Mike Parson announced the program earlier this week.
"That's the most traffic we've seen on the website since February when we were really hitting a huge increase in vaccine demand, and we were also traveling through those tiers of populations who were eligible. So it's really encouraging to see people getting this information," Senior Services Communication Director Lisa Cox said in our recent story.
Those without access to the online form can register by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411 from 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on weekdays.
To be eligible, Missourians have to have just the first dose of the vaccine, be a U.S. citizen and Missouri resident and be at least 12 years of age.
Missourians have to opt-in, unlike some states that automatically put the names of vaccinated people into consideration. That's good news if you're entering because there won't be as many entrants. Fewer entrants equal a higher probability of winning.
So if you haven't already, sign up to win at covidvaccine.mo.gov/win/.