Rogue Valley residents react as state announces vaccine cash prizes

SALEM, Ore. —Oregon Governor Kate Brown, announcing the state is offering a new incentive, to get Oregonians vaccinated.

“So, if you’ve been waiting to get a vaccine, or you just haven’t gotten around to it yet, we’re going to give you an extra incentive. How about a chance to win a million dollars?” said Governor Brown.

It’s part of the “Take Your Shot Oregon Campaign.” Vaccinated people 18 and older across the state, will have the chance to win a $1-million prize. A $10,000 prize, will also be awarded to a resident in each of Oregon’s 36 counties. Oregonians age 12 to 17, have the chance to win one of five $100,000 college scholarships. The campaign is funded with $1.86 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Act. The governor says it’s another step, in the effort to reopen the state.

“In this final push to reach every Oregonian with a vaccine, and to meet our goal of at least 70% of adults vaccinated so we can fully reopen our economy, we need to pull on every lever we have,” said Governor Brown.

The campaign is a collaboration between the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Lottery, and the Oregon State Treasury. The drawing will take place on June 28th, winners will be announced the following week. The cut-off for names being added to the vaccine database is midnight on June 27th. To be eligible, you must get at least one dose of a vaccine before then.

There’s no shortage of opinions on the state’s move. We hit the streets of Medford to see if a potential cash prize, is changing anyone’s mind about getting vaccinated.

“I wouldn’t do it, not for no money,” said Leo Gomez-Castro, Medford resident.

“I think it’s a good idea if it’ll inspire people to get shots,” said Ricky Shavers, Medford resident.

“It doesn’t seem like it would make a hugely tangible difference on people getting vaccinated,” said Nick Potocki, Ashland resident.

“I’m shocked and yet not surprised,” said Stacy Thomas, Jacksonville resident.

“That’s awesome because I got my vaccine already so am I eligible?” said Karen Quinto, Medford resident.

“Nothing will change my mind on my opinion on the vaccine,” said Brayden Love, Medford resident.

“I think the cash prize is kinda cool but no it doesn’t change my mind on it,” said Miki Peters, Shady Cove resident.

Multiple other states are doing similar special lottery events, to encourage people to get vaccinated, to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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Jenna King
NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.