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Get vaxxed and win a million? Answers to questions about NC’s Summer Cash program.

North Carolina is joining the growing list of states offering incentives to citizens who get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced a lottery-style drawing program on Thursday. It’s called Summer Cash and offers a cash drawing and a chance at college scholarships.

Here are the details about who is eligible and how the program works.

Who is eligible for NC’s Summer Cash program?

Any North Carolinian age 18 and up who has gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be entered in the Summer Cash vaccine incentive program.

If you get vaccinated on June 10 or after, you will be entered TWICE for the drawings.

What is NC’s Summer Cash program prize?

There are four prizes of $1 million dollars each.

Is there an incentive program for teens?

In the Cash 4 College program, North Carolinians ages 12 to 17 who have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine will be entered in four drawings to win a $125,000 college scholarship at the school of their choice. The drawings take place at the same time as the cash drawings.

Do I need to register somewhere to enter?

If you have been vaccinated, you are automatically entered.

How often do the drawings take place?

The drawings start on Wednesday, June 23, and will be held every other week through Aug. 4.

Are there other vaccine incentive programs in NC?

A few counties have offered $25 cash cards to people getting vaccinated — or people driving others to get vaccinated — as a compensation for time and travel to vaccine sites. Find out if that program is available in your area by visiting covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-incentives.

Krispy Kreme has offered free donuts to those showing their vaccination card.

Why is North Carolina offering incentives for vaccinations?

The program — and others like it across the country — is designed to combat vaccine hesitancy, which is a bigger problem in Southern states.

As of June 10, roughly 54% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and about 50% are fully vaccinated.

President Joe Biden has set a target of having 70% of Americans vaccinated by July 4, a goal that experts say does not currently seem attainable. According to the Associated Press, only 14 states have reached 70% coverage among adults, and about a dozen more are on pace to reach the milestone by July 4.

Public health experts believe that a 70% vaccination rate is needed to reach herd immunity.

Is anyone ineligible for the Summer Cash drawings?

According to the Governor’s Office, there are a number of people who are ineligible to participate in the drawings — mostly people connected to Gov. Cooper and to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as N.C. Council of State members and people connected to the North Carolina State Lottery program or to the design of the Summer Cash program. Further, incarcerated citizens are ineligible.

Are people vaccinated at federal facilities entered in the drawings?

This is tricky. The Governor’s Office says that DHHS may not be able to access data for individuals who received vaccinations at the following places: the Veterans’ Administration, the Department of Defense and Indian Health Services (and some other unnamed federal groups).

DHHS is working to make sure people vaccinated through the VA or through Indian Services will be eligible, but if the state is unable to access the information by the time of the drawings, those people will not be entered.

Do I have to pay for a vaccine?

There is no cost for the vaccine, whether or not you have insurance. You also do not need to show an ID, and immigration status does not matter. Everyone can get the vaccine.

Is there a microchip in the vaccine? Will I be magnetized?

No and no.

There are lots of myths circulating online about the COVID-19 vaccine, and those myths have been debunked by experts.

Where can I get a vaccine?

Start by visiting myspot.nc.gov and searching your ZIP code. You can also call your primary care doctor or local health department for help in finding a vaccine.

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Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and keeps track of changes in the local grocery landscape.



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