More than 100,000 people have signed up for Maine’s vaccination sweepstakes, 24 hours after Gov. Janet Mills announced the lottery-style prize in an attempt to boost vaccination rates in Maine. Depending on how many people get vaccinated, the prize could approach $1 million.

As of Thursday afternoon, 102,427 people had signed up for a chance to win the prize, dubbed “Don’t Miss Your Shot: Vaccinationland Sweepstakes.”

“Have you registered yet? Someone is going to win this – why not you?”  tweeted Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, Maine reported 34 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death Thursday.

The seven-day average of daily new cases has fallen to 42, down from 66.7 a week ago and 239.3 a month ago. At the pandemic’s peak in mid-January, Maine was routinely topping 600 cases per day. Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 68,717 cases of COVID-19 and 854 deaths.

Vaccinations are tamping down cases, although Mainers are being inoculated at a slower pace. Through Thursday, 758,813 people had received their final dose of a vaccine, representing 56.4 percent of the state’s 1.3 million population.

Maine on Wednesday launched the sweepstakes that will award one lucky vaccinated winner nearly $1 million.

“We’re hoping we can use programs of this nature to spur demand,” Shah said at a media briefing Wednesday. “It’s as simple as that. We’re not constrained by the supply of vaccine any longer. There’s vaccine out there. If this is what it takes to nudge folks to get them to come in, all the better.”

Residents 12 and older who have received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Maine since Dec. 15, 2020, may enter for a chance to win. Registration and an email address are required and the deadline to get vaccinated and submit an entry is 11:59 p.m. on June 30.

Entries are being accepted online at maine.gov/covid19/vaccines or by calling the Community Vaccination Line at 888-445-4111. Mills will announce the winner and the prize amount on the afternoon of July 4.

Maine offered much smaller incentives earlier to encourage people to get vaccinated, such as free $20 L.L. Bean gift cards, free fishing and hunting licenses, tickets to Sea Dogs games and others. That program ended on May 31.

The state released updated county-level case-rate data Thursday showing a correlation between vaccination rates and case rates. For instance, Cumberland County’s final-dose vaccination rate of 67.8 percent is tops in the state, and it has the third-lowest case rate over the past 14 days, with 2.88 cases per day, per 10,000 population. Cumberland County, the state’s most populous, recorded zero cases Thursday.

Knox County has the second-highest vaccination rate at 62.8 percent, and the second-lowest case rate over the past two weeks, at 2.51 per 10,000 population. In contrast, Somerset County, with the state’s lowest vaccination rate at 44.2 percent, has the highest 14-day case rate at 12.68.

Aroostook County is a notable exception to the trend. It has the sixth-worst vaccination rate at 50.1 percent, but the lowest 14-day case rate, 2.39, in the state.

Also Thursday, Maine reported that 31 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, with 15 in intensive care.

Shah, in a tweet Thursday, said that of the 27 hospitalized that the Maine CDC has data on, 23 are unvacccinated.

“The vaccine is free, safe and effective at dramatically reducing your risk of hospitalization,” he wrote.

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