Today, the State of Maryland launched a multi-pronged plan, including a booster lottery entitled “VaxCash 2.0,” to ensure each Marylander receives their COVID-19 booster shot.
VaxCash 2.0 will award $2 million in cash prizes to a total of 12 Maryland residents who have received their booster shot. An initial $500,000 drawing will take place on February 15th, with subsequent prizes of $50,000 being awarded weekly for the following 10 weeks. On Tuesday, May 3rd, one Marylander will be awarded a grand prize of $1 million. Governor Larry Hogan emphasized the role of booster shots in protecting against COVID-19 surges in a press release:
“The biggest takeaway from the Omicron surge is just how critically important it is to get a booster shot,” said Governor Hogan. “It is clear that getting fully protected with a booster is the single most important thing you can do right now to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and its variants and to help us all finally move on from this pandemic.”
The Administration announced several other initiatives included in its booster action plan:
- Expanding call- and text-based outreach to all Marylanders who are eligible for boosters through the state’s GoVAX campaign;
- Offering booster shots at many hospital-based testing sites in addition to the 539 pharmacies and clinics across the state that currently offer boosters;
- Expanding the mission of the Vaccine Equity Task Force to offer clinics with community partners that are focused on booster shots.
Governor Hogan also highlighted Healthcare Heroes Appreciation Week, which will include a poster contest for students enrolled from pre-K through grade 12. Winners will have their works publicly displayed at area hospitals and receive governor’s citations. Moreover, on Friday, February 11th, Government House, M&T Bank Stadium, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be lit blue to commemorate healthcare heroes. The governor is encouraging counties and municipalities to join this commemoration.