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RACINE COUNTY – Get vaccinated, win prizes!

The City of Racine and Racine County on Thursday launched a joint COVID-19 vaccine incentive program to encourage more residents to get vaccinated. The city and county governments have each kicked $10,000 ($5,000 apiece) toward 66 prizes, including electronic devices, gas cards, grocery cards, and a gas grill, to be given away in a random drawing that takes place on July 20.

The goal of the incentive program, which runs through July 17, is to get 3,000 more county residents vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. 

“It is our hope that this campaign will motivate more of our residents to get the vaccine. Residents who get fully vaccinated by July 17 can get two entries into the drawing. Bring everyone in your family who’s over the age of 12, that’s a lot more entries for your family. We really hope to reach 3,000 vaccinations in the next 30 days to give out these great prizes,” Mayor Cory Mason said in a news release.

“I encourage any Racine County resident who hasn’t yet been vaccinated to take advantage of this opportunity and help us beat COVID once and for all,” said Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave.

How It Works

The incentive campaign is open to anyone who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine – those under 18 need parental consent. To enter the prize drawing, vaccine eligible residents must get vaccinated at one of the following locations:

  • AMI’s Regency Mall Vaccination Clinic (former Burlington Coat Factory site), 5538 Durand Ave.
  • City of Racine Vaccination Clinics at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St., or City Hall, 730 Washington Ave.
  • City of Racine/Ascension’s Vaccination Clinic during this Saturday’s Juneteenth Celebration at the Dr. John Bryant Center, 601 Caron Butler Drive.
  • Other City of Racine-sponsored pop-up vaccination clinics that may become available between now and July 17. 

Those who are eligible to be vaccinated can fill out the entry form at any of those locations. Entry forms may be submitted for each COVID-19 vaccination received (maximum of two entries per person). If the 30-day goal of 3,000 additional vaccinations is reached, a drawing will be held on July 20 with Mason and Delagrave announcing the winners.

Full Prize List, Details Online

Among the 66 prizes (totaling $10,000) are:

  • IPads 
  • Chromebooks 
  • One month rent (up to $700, paid directly to landlord) 
  • $100 towards utility bill of winner’s choice (paid directly to the utility)
  • Weber propane gas grill 
  • $50 gas cards
  • $50 grocery cards
  • 65″ Smart TVs
  • Lunch with the Mayor 

The full list of prizes and vaccine incentive drawing details can be found at VaccinateRacine.org.

Institutions and businesses are welcome to make financial contributions or donate additional prizes to the drawing. Contact Vicky Selkowe at Vicky.selkowe@cityofracine.org or 262-598-6580.

Racine County Vaccination Rate Trails State

As of Wednesday, 45.4 percent of Racine County residents (89,048 people) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 40.3 percent are considered fully vaccinated, according to Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) statistics.

That’s somewhat behind Wisconsin overall where the DHS reports that 49.2 percent of state residents (2.8 million people) have received one dose and 44.6 percent are fully vaccinated.

Statewide, vaccination rates vary widely by race and ethnicity with 45.8 percent of white Wisconsin residents being vaccinated compared with just 25.4 percent of the state’s Black residents and 34.4 percent of its Hispanic residents. Health officials have cited a variety of factors, including access to vaccination sites and distrust of government agencies like health departments.

The City of Racine’s race and ethnicity population breakdown is 65.1 percent white, 23.1 percent Black, 22.4 percent Hispanic and 5.2 percent two or more races, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Vaccine Incentives Elsewhere – Big and Small

Cities, counties and states throughout the country have used incentive programs to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. Incentives have ranged from free products, like free coffee, a donut or a beer, to cash and college tuition. Milwaukee area residents have been offered entry into drawings for Bucks and Brewers tickets, for example.

The state of Ohio earlier this week awarded the fourth of five scheduled $1 million cash prizes and full-ride college scholarships. The vaccine lottery drawing is open to all Ohio residents who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 3.4 million residents were entered for the most recent cash drawing and more than 150,000 children, ages 12-17, had entered the drawing for the scholarship, according to news accounts.

Since Ohio’s incentive program was announced on May 12, statewide vaccination numbers jumped by 43 percent the first week. The numbers of new vaccinations have dropped since then. The Ohio program ends next week.

Other states offering vaccinated residents the opportunity to win cash prizes of $1 million or more include California, New York, Washington, Oregon, Maryland, and Colorado.

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...