Almost 2 million people have signed up for the first drawing in the Massachusetts VaxMillions giveaway, created to encourage residents to get their COVID-19 vaccines, according to a spokesperson for Governor Charlie Baker.
The initial drawing is scheduled for Monday, and the winner will be announced Thursday.
Less than half the state’s 4.3 million fully vaccinated people have signed up for the giveaway. Adults in the state who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — meaning they have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one Johnson & Johnson shot — and registered at vaxmillionsgiveaway.com are entered to win one of five $1 million prizes.
Five teenagers ages 12 to 17 — about 140,000 of whom have already signed up for the giveaway — will win $300,000 scholarships.
Registration for Monday’s drawing has closed, but residents can register through Thursday to be eligible for the four remaining drawings. Anyone who has signed up will be automatically entered into the subsequent drawings, which will take place weekly until Aug. 19. People who are not yet vaccinated can sign up for the drawing after they receive their second shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or after their single Johnson & Johnson dose.
Massachusetts has the second-highest vaccination rates in the country, with 72 percent of residents receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. But the number of COVID-19 cases has risen in recent weeks, a change that public health experts attribute to the spread of the Delta variant and slowing vaccination rates.
The Massachusetts VaxMillions giveaway is one of many incentive programs across the United States designed to encourage people who may feel hesitant to get the vaccine.
Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 617-929-2043.