State prepares for first vaccine lottery as concern grows over Delta variant

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 8:18 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) -The “Your Shot at $1 Million” campaign aimed at getting more shots in arms will hold its first drawing Wednesday. This comes as another strain of COVID-19 spreads in the states.

“We do expect that the Delta variant will become the dominate variant in the United States,” said Assistant Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine

First detected in India, Delta has since traveled to dozens of other countries becoming the dominant strain in Britain.

This variant is proving to be worse than the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) strain that has been dominant in the U.S. since April. “There’s every reason to think that it can lead to more severe disease, that it can lead to a quicker onset of disease and it can make people sicker and end up in the hospital,” Levine said.

Delta comes as N.C. offers incentives for people getting their COVID-19 shot. “We know that they’re effective and will be protective against the Delta variant,” said Levine.

Every person 18 and older who has received at least one shot can win big. The first Summer Cash Drawing and Cash 4 College drawing will take place Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh. The rest will happen every other week over the next three months.

While the majority of the older population is vaccinated, Levine explains work to get more younger folks protected continues to be a trouble spot. “It is infecting younger people worldwide and so it’s more important than even that younger people take this step and start their vaccinations.”

Health care providers echo that same message at a county level too. “I would encourage you to go ahead and get vaccinated so we can all start living our lives again the way we’re used to,” said Jones County Health Department Nursing Supervisor, Ann Pike.

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