LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes was successful in increasing Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccination rates.
Whitmer said the number of first vaccine doses administered per week increased steadily during the month of July, when vaccinations normally decrease. Sweepstakes entries were open from July 1 to Aug. 3.
About 28,000 people received their first dose of vaccine from July 4 to 10, 30,000 from July 11 to 17, 35,000 from July 18 to 24 and 41,000 from July 25 to 30.
Whitmer said the week-to-week increases in first doses of vaccine were records for Michigan and protected residents against the more contagious COVID-19 delta variant. Michigan’s vaccination rate increased from about 61% in early July to 65% on Monday.
“Thanks to every Michigander who got their shot, the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes has been a success and we are continuing to make progress in keeping our families and communities safe,” said Whitmer. “But our work is not done. We are going to keep making efforts to reach people where they are, answer their questions and help them get their shots.”
The Protect Michigan Commission, which was formed last year to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, promoted the vaccine lottery. The commission will continue its work to push Michigan’s vaccination rate above the goal of 70% this year.
The commission is continuing a public education campaign about the vaccines, highlighting Michiganders’ stories about the COVID-19 vaccines, increasing community access to vaccine clinics and planning more door-to-door outreach efforts.
“The sweepstakes and news coverage helped spur conversations between families and friends about the sweepstakes,” said Protect Michigan Commission Director Kerry Ebersole Singh. “Several winners who were previously unvaccinated before the sweepstakes said they were inspired to get their vaccinations based on those discussions and the prizes they could win.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says a COVID-19 vaccine remains the best defense against a serious illness. Unvaccinated Michiganders account for 98% of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, 95% of hospitalizations for the illness and 96% of deaths attributed to the coronavirus from January to July 2021.
“If we work together to increase vaccination rates, we can continue putting people back to work, continue our economic jumpstart, and ensure students can safely learn in the classroom,” Ebersole Singh said. “So please: get your shots to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.”
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