Newsom Announces $116.5 Million Incentive Program to Encourage COVID-19 Shots

May 27, 2021 Updated: May 27, 2021

LOS ANGELES—With demand for COVID-19 vaccines waning just weeks before the state lifts all public health restrictions, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on May 27 a $116.5 million incentive program, including $1.5 million prizes for 10 vaccinated residents that will doled out through a raffle-type drawing.

Newsom called it the “most significant incentive program in the United States of America.”

Beginning immediately, the next 2 million state residents who receive their first dose—and ultimately their second—will receive $50 gift cards.

Those cards will be either a pre-paid MasterCard or a grocery store gift card for Kroger or Albertsons.

On June 4 and June 11, the state will hold drawings to award $50,000 to 15 vaccinated people on each of those dates. Everyone who has been vaccinated with at least one dose in the state by those dates will be eligible, even those who were vaccinated prior to the drawing being announced.

People who have been or will be vaccinated by those dates will be automatically entered into the drawing. There is no need to register.

On June 15, the date the state plans to scrap the vast majority of its COVID-19 health restrictions, the state will draw the names of 10 vaccinated residents, each of whom will receive $1.5 million.

Newsom noted that demand for the vaccines has dropped in recent weeks. He said the state has administered about 1.9 million doses over the past week, down from a high of around 3 million per week. To date, more than 37 million doses have been administered in California.

Los Angeles County has been offering incentives of its own, conducting a sweepstakes for Laker season tickets for anyone who got a first dose at a county- or city-operated vaccination site last weekend. Starting tomorrow, anybody vaccinated at a city or county site through June 3 will be entered for a chance to win LA Kings or Galaxy season tickets. People vaccinated at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites will also be entered into that drawing.