PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia launched the Philly Vax Sweepstakes Monday afternoon. It's a series of three citywide drawings designed to give Philadelphians extra motivation to get their COVID-19 vaccination.
A total of 36 fully vaccinated residents will win cash prizes up to $50,000, nearing $400,000 in giveaways.
"While we've made great progress we still need even more folks to get vaccinated before we can put the threat of the pandemic behind us," Mayor Jim Kenney said.
The three drawings will be on June 21, July 6, and July 19. In each drawing six individuals will win $1,000, four will win $5,000, and two will win $50,000.
"We're incredibly proud of our extensive efforts to vaccinate our residents and that more than two-thirds of Philadelphia adults have received their first dose. The vaccine is critical to protecting us from COVID-19, getting back to the things we've missed, and safely reigniting our economy," Kenney said. "This exciting initiative offers an opportunity to reward Philadelphians who have already been vaccinated while also motivating those who haven't yet. I thank our partners at the University of Pennsylvania for making this incredible opportunity possible and encourage all Philadelphians to vax up to win!"
Only 52% of the city is fully vaccinated, far behind President Joe Biden's goal of 70% by the Fourth of July. Young African Americans are among the most under-vaccinated group. In an effort to fix the disparity, there will also be special incentives to encourage vaccinations in the neighborhoods with the least number of vaccinated individuals.
In the three sweepstakes drawings, one zip code from the 20 zip codes with the lowest vaccination rates as of May 27 will be selected for random extra prizes. Half of the winners of each prize category will be drawn from the "selected" zip code and the other half will be drawn from all other zip codes in the city.
The selected special zip code will be announced on the city's website and social media accounts.
Selected zip codes cannot be picked more than once during the program and there will be three selected, special zip codes in total.
"The idea is that all Philadelphians have a chance to win, but if your zip code is selected your chance of winning a prize gets bigger," Katherine Milkman, with the University of Pennsylvania, said.
The University of Pennsylvania is sponsoring and researching the sweepstakes initiative in conjunction with the city and the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.
The sweepstakes starting June 21 will be drawn every two weeks.
Only people over the age of 18 are allowed to enter the sweepstakes.
The Phillies are offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to all fans attending the Braves series. Anyone who receives the vaccine at the ballpark will receive two free tickets to a select Phillies game as well as a concession credit and giveaway.
CBS3's Stephanie Stahl contributed to this report.
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