Vaccine numbers dwindle, holiday weekend may have delayed boost from sweepstakes

Posted at 8:47 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 21:00:37-04

(WXMI) — The race to vaccinate continues on, as the more concerning delta variant of coronavirus spreads through the country and virtually all COVID deaths in the U.S. now are among unvaccinated people.

"Millions of Americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected. And because of that, their community is at risk, their friends are at risk, the people they care about are at risk,” President Joe Biden said at a news conference.

Most states fell short of the Biden administration’s goal of having 70 percent of Americans with at least one shot of the vaccine by Independence Day, including Michigan, where roughly 62 percent of eligible people have had at least one dose.

The demand for vaccines in Michigan has dropped substantially since its peak in mid-April, but the state is hoping to turn things around with the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes, a lottery-style raffle where vaccinated folks can win more than a million bucks, or a college scholarship if they’re under 18.

More than a million people have registered for it since it opened on Thursday.

“With the sweepstakes, we hope to increase our rate by 9 percent,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said when announcing the contest.

Though it could be a while before we see the impact it will have on incentivizing new people to get vaccinated. Granted, it was a holiday weekend, but in the days following the sweepstakes announcement, the state only administered roughly 1,700 first shots per day.

If that rate holds, the state would not reach 70 percent vaccinated until July 4 of next year, according to the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency.

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