BOSTON (WPRI) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new initiative Tuesday aiming to boost vaccination rates in the state.
Through the Massachusetts VaxMillions Giveaway, residents ages 18 and older who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter to win one of five $1 million cash prizes.
Fully vaccinated residents between the ages of 12 and 17 have the chance to win one of five $300,000 college scholarships, according to Baker.
Eligible residents can enter the lottery starting July 1, and drawings will be held once a week from Monday, June 26, through Friday, Aug. 27.
“The VaxMillions Giveaway is one of the many ways our administration is encouraging people to get the vaccine, and we are grateful for the partnership of Treasurer Goldberg and the Mass State Lottery in developing the program,” Baker said.
Information on signing up and how to reach the call center will be made available prior to July 1.
Earlier on Tuesday, the state also launched a free smartphone service that people can use to let others know they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
MassNotify is available on iPhone and Android devices. The governor said the app provides an additional layer of awareness to both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents to help prevent future transmission.
“Massachusetts leads the nation in COVID-19 vaccination with almost 4 million residents fully vaccinated, which has had a significant impact on our progress in fighting the virus,” Baker said. “As we embrace our new normal, MassNotify is a voluntary, free tool to provide additional peace of mind to residents as they return to doing the things they love.”
The new tool works anonymously and does not collect information about who you are, where you go, or who you come in contact with, according to Baker’s office.
Massachusetts joins 28 other states and more than 35 countries around the world who are using similar exposure alerts to increase awareness.
How it Works:
When two people using MassNotify are near each other, their phones exchange random codes using Bluetooth. These random codes are completely anonymous, with no location tracking or exchange of personal information. When a person in Massachusetts tests positive for COVID-19 they will receive a text message with instructions on how to anonymously share their test result. If they do share their result, MassNotify users who were near the person who tested positive may receive an anonymous alert on their phone about their possible exposure to COVID-19.