Manitoba premier, Liquor & Lotteries CEO to announce COVID-19 vaccine incentives Wednesday morning

Premier Brian Pallister will make an announcement about COVID-19 vaccine incentives alongside Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries president and CEO Manny Atwal Monday morning.

CBC News will live stream the news conference at 11 a.m. CT here, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Gem.

The provincial government launched a survey last month, asking Manitobans to weigh in on what kinds of incentives they would support to encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Some of the options included offering prizes, free meals or payments of up to $100.

Last week, the province announced it will provide up to $1 million for grants of up to $20,000 that groups can use to reach out to people hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Manitoba’s vaccination rate for first doses among eligible people 12 and older is at 66.7 per cent, as of Tuesday.

That number is considerably lower in some areas of the province, particularly in the southern Manitoba health districts of Stanley (14.9 per cent), Winkler (28.2 per cent) and Hanover (33 per cent).

Research by the province suggests very few people refuse to get a vaccine — about two per cent of the population.

The rest are vaccine hesitant for various reasons, including language barriers, cultural or religious concerns, wanting to know more about the science, or difficulty getting to a vaccine site.