California vaccine lottery: O.C. resident among six winners in state’s ‘Dream Vacations’ giveaway

California
Dr. Tomás J. Aragón (left), state public health officer and California Department of Public Health director, is joined by Sen. Josh Newman (middle) and Asm. Jacqui Irwin in the drawing of six winners for the “California Dream Vacations” giveaway as part of the state’s vaccine incentive program on July 1, 2021.

Dr. Tomás J. Aragón (left), state public health officer and California Department of Public Health director, is joined by Sen. Josh Newman (middle) and Asm. Jacqui Irwin in the drawing of six winners for the “California Dream Vacations” giveaway as part of the state’s vaccine incentive program on July 1, 2021.

An Orange County resident was among the six Californians who won travel packages in the “Dream Vacations” giveaway as part of the state’s latest incentive to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

As was the case in previous drawings, Thursday afternoon’s random draw was held during a news conference featuring a game show-like setup with the winners picked from a lottery ball machine.

This time, however, Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, state public health officer and California Department of Public Health director, was joined by Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton and Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks in drawing the winners in place of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Like usual, winners were identified during the draw only by anonymous numbers and their county of residence in an effort to protect their privacy.

More than 23 million residents ages 12 and up in the state have received at least one dose of the coronavirus shot and were eligible to win a vacation package from Thursday’s drawing.

Other residents who won during the final round of the state’s “Vax for the Win” program, which has previously given away cash prizes to vaccinated residents, came from Alameda, Contra Costa, Orange, Santa Cruz, San Mateo County and San Francisco counties.

Winners will have a chance to visit “California’s gateway destination cities,” such as Palm Springs, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anaheim or San Diego. They’ll also receive an additional $2,000 to offset travel costs and will have some meals covered as part of the vacation package.

The packages also include tickets to Disneyland, a Lakers game, a Giants game, Legoland, or a spa treatment.

Gov. Gavin Newsom previously said the vacation destinations are all in California as part of an effort to jump-start the state’s beleaguered tourism industry.

Meanwhile, the state saw a 33% increase in administered doses during the peak of it’s “Vax for the Win” vaccine incentive program early last month. So far, the program has doled out $50,000 to 30 winners. And last month, 10 vaccinated residents were selected to split a $15 million grand prize. 

“I want to encourage all of you that have not yet been vaccinated to really think about how much freedom it gives you and how much protection it gives you when you get vaccinated ….  And it protects your community, so please reconsider,” Irwin said during Thursday’s drawing. 

For more information on what the travel packages include, visit covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win/.

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