More than half a million Quebecers registered for the vaccine lottery since Sunday
MONTREAL -- Quebec's attempt to convince more people to get vaccinated appears to be working so far, with more than half a million people signing up for the province's new vaccine lottery.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services said as of 4 p.m. Monday, 519,242 people have signed up for a chance to win thousands of dollars in the new initiative since the online registration website went live Sunday morning.
The goal of the vaccine lottery is simple: get 75 per cent of people 12 and older fully vaccinated by the end of August.
The province is using money in a bid to convince people holding out on getting their first dose, especially younger populations, to roll up their sleeves.
The draws will take place each Friday in August and people will be eligible to win up to a $150,000 prize or a $10,000 scholarship by registering online.
However, the ones who were able to get through were the lucky ones since the website was overloaded for many over the past two days. The ministry of health said in a statement the site was was seeing 20 times more traffic due to the lottery.
"We are aware that there have been outages on the site. We are continuing to adapt to the influx and improve the system," the ministry said.
"Remember that the goal is to reward those who have been vaccinated since the beginning of the campaign and to encourage those who have not yet done so to make an appointment for their first dose as soon as possible."
The lottery is open to anyone in Quebec who has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Acting on concerns about the more easily transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19, Quebec health officials came up with the idea to incentivizing vaccinations among the public.
According to Quebec's public health institute, 83 per cent of Quebecers over the age of 12 have received at least one dose and 60 per cent were fully vaccinated.
Other provinces, such as Alberta and Manitoba, have already used lotteries to entice residents to get the shot.
With files from The Canadian Press