Will cash prizes convince more Angelenos to get vaccinated?

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Vaccination sites around Southern California are hoping for a busy weekend now that state and local organizations are offering big incentives from cash prizes to sports tickets to encourage stragglers to get their COVID-19 shots.

Gov. Gavin Newsom this week announced a $116.5 million incentive program for vaccination, including grand prizes of $15 million to be split among 10 vaccinated Californians.

Other prizes include $50,000 in cash for 30 Californians, plus $50 gift cards for $2 million people.

The state is making the additional push for vaccination as restrictions on capacity limits and physical distancing at businesses and activities end on June 15.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a $116.5-million plan to incentivize more Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine and reward those who are already vaccinated.

"Sometimes it's just that little extra added nudge that gets people vaccinated," said Dr. Jerry Abraham, director of Kedren Vaccines. "And I think that's what we're seeing here today."

Kedren Vaccines is operating pop-up vaccination sites around the area at places like the Diego Rivera Learning Complex in South Los Angeles.

He says mobile clinics and attractive incentives should reverse California's sinking vaccination numbers.

In addition to Newsom's incentive program, there are sites offering Target gift cards and tickets for local sporting events.

LA County, for example, is holding a drawing for season tickets to the LA Kings or the Galaxy.

In the meantime, the vaccines seem to be doing their job here in Los Angeles.

Looking back one year, the coronavirus case rates have seen a dramatic drop.

On May 27, 2020, Los Angeles County reported 933 new cases of COVID-19. On May 27, 2021, the figure was just 217.

And Orange County's figure dropped from 116 last year to 28 cases on the same date this year. Similarly, look at Riverside County, where the number of COVID-19 patients in local ICUs was just six, the lowest number in a year.

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