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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

From $1 million cash prizes to a free dinner with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, states and cities are offering incentives as part of their efforts to boost vaccination rates.

Driving the news: U.S. daily administered doses fell dramatically in late April and May, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

  • About 51.2% of adults in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, while nearly 62.4% have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
The incentives states and cities are offering:

California: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that 30 Californians 12 years and older have a chance to win $50,000 if they complete their vaccination.

  • If a minor wins, the cash will be put in a savings account until they turn 18 years old.
  • The state is also offering a chance at winning one of 10 $1.5 million cash prizes.
  • Additionally, the first 2 million people to begin and complete their vaccinations starting May 27 will automatically receive a $50 prepaid or grocery card.

Colorado: Gov. Jared Polis has unveiled the Colorado Comeback Cash Vaccine Drive, a five-week sweepstakes that will award five people $1 million each for getting a vaccine.

Delaware: Delaware residents 18 years and older who get vaccinated between May 25 and June 29 will have a chance to win a variety of cash and other prizes, including vacations and free tolls.

  • Those 12 to 17 years old will have a chance to win a full scholarship to a state university.

Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on May 13 that Six Flags Great America will offer 50,000 free tickets — valued at $4 million — to newly vaccinated Illinois residents.

Maine: The state is offering a variety of rewards, including a certain number fishing and hunting licenses to any resident who gets at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of May.

Maryland: Any Maryland resident 18 years and older who has been vaccinated in the state will be automatically entered in a daily drawing to win a $40,000 prize. The drawings will be held from May 24 to July 4. One person will win $400,000.

Minnesota: Gov. Tim Walz announced last week that the first 100,000 people who get a vaccine between Memorial Day weekend and the end of June will be eligible for several rewards, including a free state parks pass or fishing license.

New Jersey: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection started offering a free state parks pass on May 27.

  • People age 18 or older can also enter a drawing to win a free dinner with Gov. Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy.

New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that anyone who received a vaccine at a state vaccination site between May 24 and May 28 had a chance to win $5 million or other smaller monetary prizes.

  • Cuomo also announced that the state would raffle off 50 four-year scholarships to any public college or university in the state for people between 12 and 17 years old who receive the vaccine.
  • New York City: Big Apple dwellers can choose from an array of incentives for getting a vaccine, including free tickets to Liberty Island, a free Public Theater annual membership or a $25 gift card to NYC Public Markets.

Ohio: As part of the state's Vax-a-Million campaign, five people 18 years or older will win $1 million each, while five 12- to 17-year-olds will each win a four-year scholarship to public college or university in the state.

  • The state announced its first winners on May 27.
  • Ohio said vaccinations in the state increased 94% among 16- and 17- year-olds, 46% among 18- and 19-year-olds and 55% among those between 20 and 49 years old after Gov. Mike DeWine announced the lotteries.
  • As of May 24, more than 2.7 million adults had registered for the $1 million drawings and 104,386 minors had registered for the scholarship raffles.

Oregon: Residents 18 and older in Oregon will have the chance to win $1 million or one of 36 $10,000 prizes if they receive at least one dose of the vaccine by the drawing date.

  • The state is also offering those 12 to 17 years old a chance to win one of five $100,000 Oregon College Savings Plan scholarships.

West Virginia: People aged 16 to 35 who get vaccinated in West Virginia can receive an $100 savings bond, Gov. Jim Justice announced in April.

The big picture: Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor for COVID-19 response, said he supported vaccine incentives during a press briefing on May 25.

Go deeper: Employers dangle rewards for vaccination despite legal hurdles

Go deeper

Sep 4, 2021 - Health

Hospitalizations among children increase amid Delta surge, CDC studies find

An EMS medic from the Houston Fire Department prepares to transport a 2-year-old girl with COVID-19 to a hospital on Aug. 25 in Houston. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Hospitalizations among individuals under 18 for COVID-19 rose this summer as the Delta variant spread nationwide, per a pair of studies released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

Why it matters: The two studies do not provide conclusive answers about whether Delta causes more severe cases of the virus in children, but they reinforce the importance of widespread vaccination to protect children — many of whom are still ineligible for the vaccine, per the New York Times.

Kentucky governor calls state lawmakers into special session on COVID

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear at the University of Louisville Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky, in April. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Gov. Andy Beshear is calling Kentucky's GOP-led legislature into a special session next week on policies to address surging COVID-19 cases in the state.

Why it matters: The Democratic governor had imposed a series of emergency pandemic measures, but the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last month that a lower court had incorrectly blocked state Republicans from limiting his executive authority.

Updated Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers — CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers — FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up.
  2. Health: America's mismatched COVID fears — Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Health care workers and teachers caught up in booster confusion — Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.