JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Today, Governor Mike Parson announced the winners of the first drawing of the MO VIP. At the time of the Aug. 13 drawing, a total of 495,296 MO VIP entries were received. The MO VIP incentivizes vaccination for those who have not yet been vaccinated, as well as provides an opportunity for rewards for the more than 3 million Missourians who have already made the decision to be protected through vaccination.
Of the 180 winners randomly selected in the first of the program’s five drawings, 170 have been fully verified. The remaining 10 have until 5 p.m. Friday to complete necessary documentation to verify their identity and vaccination status, or the prizes will be preliminarily awarded to an alternate. Confirmed MO VIP winners can now be found at MOStopsCovid.com/win.
“We congratulate these 180 Missourians, not only for winning this drawing but more importantly for stepping up to do the right thing and choosing to get vaccinated,” Governor Parson said. “The vaccines are proven to be safe, effective, and the best resource available to prevent serious illness from COVID-19. Vaccination is how we protect ourselves and those we care for from this virus. We have seen vaccine uptake increase since this program began, and we hope inspiring stories from individuals like Cooper and Rebecca and the continued chance at $10,000 will further encourage Missourians to choose vaccination.”
Cooper Norton, age 12, of St. Charles was one of the 20 adolescent winners of a MOST 529 education savings account. His younger sister, who is not yet eligible for vaccination, was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a respiratory disorder that could become more problematic when combined with COVID-19. Along with the rest of his family, Cooper did not want to add any more risk of infection for his sister. Between this and the fact that all of the family’s physicians and specialists recommended the vaccine, Norton and his parents decided it was right for him.
“You’re a little more apprehensive when it comes to your kids and making decisions for them,” said Shawna Norton, mother of Cooper. “It wasn’t something we took lightly. In fact, we had multiple conversations with pediatricians and specialist doctors to ensure it was the right choice given our family dynamic. After a lot of conversations, every single doctor recommended we get Cooper vaccinated. It was a no-brainer. We really feel that getting the COVID-19 vaccination is the best thing we can do to help protect our daughter.”
Rebecca White, a young mother and registered nurse from Steelville, was also excited to learn she won in the MO VIP this month. White was no stranger to the fears and trauma that comes with infertility issues. Prior to her children being born, she went through fertility treatments and also suffered three miscarriages. Now a mom of four, White, who is also immunosuppressed, was in the middle of her high-risk pregnancy with twin girls when she chose to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I got the vaccine for my family,” said White. “Now I have four kids, and I want to be around for them. I was susceptible to bad outcomes if I were to get COVID-19, and I wanted to protect my babies as much as I could.”
The healthy twin girls are now two months old, and White is relieved that they all have antibodies to protect them from COVID-19.
“The fact that they are here and healthy and have some protection against COVID-19 is amazing. I’m thankful I got the vaccination when I got it,” said White. “I wanted to share my story so I can be an example to other women who have been through this and are on the fence. I was on the fence, too, so I get it. Now, there has been a lot of research. There’s so much more risk of having bad outcomes if you are pregnant and get COVID-19.”
More than 400,000 doses have been administered by state-enrolled providers since the launch of MO VIP. With state and federal vaccination data combined, 61% of Missouri’s eligible population (12 and up) has now initiated vaccination.
Anyone who has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the deadline can enter at any time for the drawings at MOStopsCovid.com. Each of the five drawings will generate 180 winners, for a total of 900 winners overall. A cash prize of $10,000 will be awarded to a total of 800 adults (18 and up), and 100 adolescents, aged 12 to 17, will win an education savings account through the Missouri State Treasurer’s MOST 529 program in the amount of $10,000.
Once a Missourian enters, their entry will be carried over through all the drawings. There is no need to enter more than once. The entry list will be reviewed, and duplicate entries will be removed prior to each drawing. All winners will all have their vaccination status verified.
The next drawing will take place this Friday, but entries must be entered online by 11:59 p.m. tonight.
Official rules, frequently asked questions and a program timeline are available atMOStopsCovid.com/win. Those without the ability to enter the sweepstakes online can get assistance by calling the COVID-19 hotline Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. at 877-435-8411.
Get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines, and find a vaccine near you at MOStopsCovid.com.
Originally Appeared Here