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KBIA’s Health & Wealth Desk covers the economy and health of rural and underserved communities in Missouri and beyond. The team produces a weekly radio segment, as well as in-depth features and regular blog posts. The reporting desk is funded by a grant from the University of Missouri, and the Missouri Foundation for Health.Contact the Health & Wealth desk.

Missouri Vaccine Incentive Program Sees Thousands of Entries in First Day

MO VIP with Border.jpg

Governor Mike Parson announced the new vaccine incentive program Wednesday – offering Missourians the opportunity to be entered into multiple drawings for a $10,000 prize.

According to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, 100,000 Missourians have signed up for the program in the first day or so.

The incentive program is split into three groups: “Red” for those who receive the vaccine after July 21, 2021, “White” for those who received it prior to that date, and “Blue” for anyone ages 12 to 17 who has received a dose any time.

"Ultimately, at the end of the day, we want to see the state's vaccination rate increase."
Robert Knodell, Acting Director, MO DHSS

Robert Knodell, the acting director of the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, said the vaccine incentive program was in response to a vaccination “cliff.”

“At one point, [Missouri] was vaccinating in the neighborhood of 50,000 or more vaccinations in a given day. We've seen that drop to, in recent weeks, less than 10,000 vaccinations a day,” Knodell said. “We've seen a very, very small uptick in vaccination in the last, really, week and a half. But, you know, I think that is a trend line that we're going to continue to monitor.”

He said that adults who choose to enter “MO VIP” are eligible for a $10,000 cash prize and youth are eligible for a $10,000 education saving account they will gain access to once they turn 18.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, we want to see the state's vaccination rate increase, and there's no magic number to get there,” Knodell said. “At one point we were we were simply struggling to stop the decline, but, you know, not only do we want to stop the decline, but we want to see the numbers go up.”

The drawings will take place every two weeks with 180 winners each drawing:

  • 20 Youth
  • 80 “Red” Adults – 10 Missourians from each of Missouri’s 8 federal congressional districts
  • 80 “White” Adults - 10 Missourians from in each of Missouri’s 8 federal congressional districts.

Knodell said he is hopeful that smaller prizes going to more winners will increase the number of Missourians, at least taking “another look at vaccination.”

“This is an ongoing iterative process,” Knodell said. “Where we're going to have multiple drawings, a lot of winners, a lot of participation around the state, and we will be able to really adapt as we go along in terms of how we promote this, how we communicate about it, and where to focus.”

The first drawing will take place on August 13, 2021, and continue until October 8, 2021, and there is no need to re-enter after each drawing.

You find out more about the program – and enter into the drawing – at https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/win/