Madison holding a vaccine lottery to encourage residents to get the COVID vaccine

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:26 PM CDT
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MADISON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The city of Madison is hosting a vaccine reward program that gives residents a chance at a thousand dollars in gift cards that can be used for any business that’s a part of the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. The lottery program started on September 27th and will go until October 27th with a winner selected every weekday.

The city received $1.3 million from Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the funds can be used in a variety of ways. The city commission decided to use a small portion for the vaccine lottery.

“They believe that it’s impactful in two ways: one encouraging people to get vaccinated and two we were able to take some of these federal dollars and invest them back into our community through our local chamber bucks,” said Jameson Berreth, Madison City Administrator.

The city got the idea from other cities having similar vaccine reward programs, like Brookings that partnered with the Swiftel Center to give away event tickets.

“If we could keep any community member out of the hospital that’s a win for us and that was the initiative from the city,” said Michael Logan, Swiftel Center General Manager.

The program has been going on for a few weeks and the city has already seen a change in its vaccination rates.

“When we started the vaccination lottery, we looked at the vaccination rate and it was hovering right around 47% and today when we look at it, it’s really close to 52%,” said Berreth.

Some residents have had questions about the vaccine lottery, but overall, the reception has been positive.

“Each day it’s exciting to have these residents come in who are very excited and thrilled to be drawn,” said Berreth. “We have received some concerns from a few residents in town who had questions about why these funds are being used in this way.”

Any Madison resident who can provide proof of getting the vaccine is eligible for the vaccine lottery. The city commissioners will take a look at the vaccination rates and how the money has helped the city’s economy to determine if they want to continue the lottery for another 5 weeks.

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