Manitoba launches up to $2M lottery to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations

This story will be updated when the press conference begins and throughout the conference as it runs.

Manitoba hopes to spur COVID-19 vaccination through a lottery offering nearly $2 million in cash and scholarships to those who roll up their sleeve for the shots.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries CEO Manny Atwal announced the lottery Wednesday morning.

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COVID-19: Fully vaccinated Manitobans to get secure immunization card

On Tuesday Pallister announced his government was launching a new secure immunization card confirming full immunization against COVID-19 that will allow those with two shots to travel within Canada without quarantining on their return and enjoy expanded visits at hospitals and personal care homes.

Pallister left open the possibility of using the cards to also determine access to major sporting events, museums and other facilities. He said there would be more details on what big-crowd events might be allowed later this week, when his Progressive Conservative government announces its pandemic reopening plan.

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Click to play video: 'What the Manitoba vaccination card means for fully vaccinated residents'

What the Manitoba vaccination card means for fully vaccinated residents

What the Manitoba vaccination card means for fully vaccinated residents

Manitoba reached a vaccination milestone on Tuesday, when two-thirds of people aged 12 and up had received at least one dose.

But a provincial website tracking vaccination shows some parts of the province have been more hesitant than others to roll up their sleeves.

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Manitoba church could face up to $1 million fine for COVID violations

The vaccination rate in southern Manitoba, for example is 47 per cent. In the RM of Stanley less than 15 per cent of the eligible population has gotten a shot.

–With files from The Canadian Press

More to come.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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