Massachusetts announces latest winners of vaccine lottery
BOSTON (AP) — An employee of a small publishing and software company and a high school student studying automotive technology are the latest winners of the state’s VaxMillions Giveaway lottery, state officials said Thursday.
Donna McNulty, of Billerica, won the $1 million prize for adults, according to a statement from the office of Gov. Charlie Baker.
She received her vaccine to protect not only herself but a friend who is at high risk for COVID-19 because of underlying health issues, and plans to use to the money to prepare for retirement late next year, according to the statement.
Dylan Barron, of Norwood, who will be a junior this fall at Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton, won the $300,000 college scholarship for residents ages 12 to 17. He is still deciding on his college plans.
He got vaccinated to keep his family, friends, and others safe, he told state officials.
The lottery, open to state residents who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, was meant to spur more people into getting their shots. It is being funded with federal coronavirus relief money.
Since the program was announced in mid-June, more than 235,000 residents have received a first dose of a vaccine, according to the statement.
About 4.4 million state residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 2.4 million people have entered the lottery, according to state officials.
There are still three more chances to win each prize.
Workers in the Massachusetts attorney general’s office will be required to get vaccinated against the coronavirus before returning to the office next month.
Attorney General Maura Healey in a statement Wednesday said the mandate is necessary as the delta variant drives up new confirmed cases in the state and across the country.
“I’ve said from the start that we need as many people as possible to get vaccinated,” Healey said. “As my office plans for its scheduled in-person return next month, I have required that all staff be vaccinated to best protect the health and safety of our colleagues and the public we serve.”
The office is planning to reopen on Sept. 27. Masks will be required for personnel in the office, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated workers will be allowed to remove masks only in their personal office or at their work station.
The office is still working on a procedure for employees to report their vaccination status or request medical and religious exemptions and other accommodations, the office said.
VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS
The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 increased by more than 1,000 Thursday while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by two.
The new numbers pushed the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 17,725 since the start of the pandemic, while its confirmed caseload rose to more than 677,400.
The true number of cases is likely higher because studies suggest some people can be infected and not feel sick.
There were about 260 people reported hospitalized Thursday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 50 in intensive care units.
The average age of those who have died from COVID-19 was 74.
More than 4.3 million people in Massachusetts have been fully immunized against COVID-19.