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Vaccinated Residents Can Win a 'VaxMillion'

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BOSTON – If avoiding a deadly disease isn't enough of a reason to be vaccinated, state officials are sweetning the jab with a chance to win $1 million.
 
The Massachusetts VaxMillions Giveaway is for residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated residents 18 and older will have the opportunity to enter to win one of five $1 million cash prizes. Fully vaccinated residents between 12 and 17 years of age may enter for the chance to win one of five $300,000 scholarship grants.
 
"The commonwealth leads the nation in vaccinating our residents, with almost four million people fully vaccinated, and our goal remains ensuring everyone that wants a vaccine has access to one,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. "The VaxMillions Giveway is one of the many ways our administration is encouraging people to get the vaccine, and we are grateful for the partnership of Treasurer [Deborah] Goldberg and the Mass State Lottery in developing the program."
 
The number of fully vaccinate individuals now stands just under 4 million with the expectation it will cross that line within the week. The percentage of fully vaccinated in the state hovers below 60 percent while our neighbor to the north, Vermont, crossed the 80 percent line on Monday. 
 
Eligible residents will be able to enter the drawing beginning July 1. Drawings will be held once a week for five weeks beginning the week of Monday, July 26, and continuing through the week ending Friday, Aug. 27.
 
"Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID," said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. "We are hopeful that this new initiative will encourage even more residents to get the COVID vaccine and help return our commonwealth to a new normal."
 
The commonwealth is launching the Massachusetts VaxMillions giveaway as one of many strategies to increase awareness of the availability and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines and encourage residents to get vaccinated to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. Once scarce, the ability to access the vaccine has become so ubiquitous that the state is phasing out the mass and regional vaccination sites set up earlier this year. The vaccine is free and is available at various medical sites and pharmacies. The state is also doing outreach with mobile vaccination sites to ensure populations that may have other challenges can be safely inoculated.
 
Beginning July 1, Massachusetts residents will be able to enter the VaxMillions Giveaway online. There will be a call center available for those who have questions or may not have online access. Sign up information and call center contact info and hours will be made available prior to July 1. Only lawful, permanent residents of Massachusetts who are fully vaccinated can apply. Residents must have received their vaccine doses within Massachusetts and must be fully vaccinated prior to submitting their entry.
 
"The Massachusetts State Lottery is proud to join Gov. Charlie Baker and the Department of Public Health to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of every person across the commonwealth," said Goldberg. "The Lottery has decades of experience and know-how to hold drawings with the upmost integrity and our team is excited to fulfill an essential role in this initiative."
 
There are more than 900 vaccination locations across the commonwealth, with appointments and walk-ins widely available. Residents seeking a vaccine can visit mass.gov/COVIDVaccine to find a vaccine location that is convenient for them. For more information on the Mass VaxMillions Giveaway, visit mass.gov/VaxMillions.

Tags: COVID-19,   lottery,   


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COVID Outbreak Hits North Adams Nursing Home; Health Officials Urge Vaccination

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Health officials are trying to determine if a significant outbreak of COVID-19 at a local nursing home is the highly transmissible Delta variant. 
 
North Adams Commons reported three vaccinated residents with infections as of Friday morning. The total is now 20 residents and two staff members, said Lisa Gaudet, a spokesperson for Berkshire Healthcare that operates the nursing home. Only one of those is unvaccinated, she said. 
 
The 119-bed skilled nursing facility is now closed to visitors and new admissions as health officials track down the source of the infection and determine if it's a variant. Gaudet said all residents and staff were being tested so the numbers may change. 
 
"Clearly we're hearing in the national and local news about variants that are creating these breakthrough cases," Gaudet said. "We benefited from this vaccination when we saw all of our infections go down ... So this is something that is obviously concerning to us."
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