'You're already winning': Sask. premier says province doesn't need a vaccine lottery
REGINA -- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the province won’t be using additional incentives to entice residents to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
Moe was asked during the province’s COVID-19 update Tuesday if the government would hold a vaccine lottery or giveaway to encourage people to get the jab.
“In this part of the world, you're already winning by just getting vaccinated and having the opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Moe.
“We've already had nearly 700,000 very lucky winners in this province who went out and got their first shot. We did that without having a lottery and we still have plenty more vaccines left for anyone else that would make that choice.”
Alberta and Manitoba premiers have both announced vaccine lotteries aimed at boosting immunizations.
Saskatchewan’s NDP has proposed a “Last Mile Lottery” to encourage vaccine uptake. The Opposition’s plan would include prizes like Saskatchewan Roughriders tickets, scholarships and a $25,000 lottery – which is about the cost admitting a COVID-19 patient into intensive care, according to the NDP.
Moe said the benefits of the shot should be enough incentive for residents to get their dose. According to the premier, 92 per cent of recent COVID-19 cases and 82 per cent of hospitalizations are people who are unvaccinated.
“You get to protect your family, your friends, your loved ones and everyone around you from this COVID virus,” said Moe. “If you like to gamble, then I would suggest you don't get your shot. The prize is not what you think it is.”
The province is currently focused on driving up first doses to hit its third vaccination target and reach the next step of reopening. The government and Saskatchewan Health Authority will host mobile clinics, walk-in and drive-thru clinics and school clinics throughout the province between June 16 and 21.
“Vaccines have never been more plentiful and never been more accessible in your community or close to you. Don't put it off any longer,” said Moe. “Let's go today, let's go this week and let's get our first shot.”