Sun | Jul 25, 2021

Grenada launches EC$10,000 vaccination lottery

Published:Tuesday | June 15, 2021 | 3:56 PM
The island began its vaccination programme against COVID-19 on February 12 and to date under 19,000 citizens have received the first dose of the AstrZeneca vaccine and just over 9,000 are fully vaccinated.

ST GEORGE'S, Grenada, CMC – Grenada on Tuesday became the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to launch a scheme aimed at getting nationals to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Health authorities have launched “a game of chance” as part of a strategy to get more citizens to become inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is currently the only vaccine available on the island offering protection against the virus.

 “All persons who have been vaccinated will automatically be entered into a lottery draw and anyone who comes forward between now and the 27th will also be automatically entered into a lottery draw which will be done on the 27th for EC$10,000,” Health Minister Nickolas Steele told reporters following the weekly Cabinet meeting.

“So, each dose will be valid for a ticket,” he said, adding that the initiative is a partnership between the Grenada National Lotteries Authority and the COVID-19 Committee.

The island began its vaccination programme against the virus on February 12 and to date under 19,000 citizens have received the first dose and just over 9,000 are fully vaccinated.

The vaccine is offered to all citizens over 18 and using the Parliamentary Elections Office registration as a guide, approximately 80,000 persons are qualified to be vaccinated.

But the authorities have over the past weeks expressed disappointment with the hesitancy among the population, and because the island is located between Trinidad and Tobago and St Vincent and the Grenadines, there are fears that there could be a surge in cases because those CARICOM countries are experiencing community clusters and or community outbreaks of the virus.

Steele said that official global figures show that most of the people who are coming down with the severe form of the disease have not been vaccinated.

He is hopeful that the launch of the lottery game will boost the vaccinated numbers.

A vaccinated person cannot opt-out of the game but will be allowed to pass on the winnings to a charity or refuse it.

“I cannot see why anyone will refuse the winning but if it happens, we can also have another draw,” Nicholas added.

Grenada has recorded 161 positive cases and one death from the virus since the first case was detected in March last year.

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