By Andrea Flores

ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The demand for the COVID-19 vaccine was intense when it first arrived in Colorado, but just a few months later, the state has to hold a contest to generate more interest. Gov. Jared Polis revealed details of Colorado Comeback Cash.

There will be five drawings to $1 million starting June 4. If you’ve already been vaccinated, you’ve already been entered. Everyone else will be entered as soon as they get their first shot.

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“We have seen this work in states like Ohio, and we expect to see the same thing here. All you have to do is get vaccinated,” Polis said Tuesday at a news conference.

Some counties don’t need an incentive. San Juan, San Miguel, Summit, Mineral, and Eagle counties are the best in the state when it comes to vaccination rates based on the eligible population.

The hope is to boost the numbers in the counties lagging behind. Elbert, Washington, Cheyenne, Bent, and Crowley counties are the least vaccinated parts of the state.

Richard Huston doesn’t plan to get the vaccine. The Elbert County resident says the Colorado Comeback Cash giveaway won’t change his mind.

“I’m one of those people that can’t be bought,” Huston told CBS4’s Andrea Flores. “I think it’s a way to buy people to do something that they don’t really want to do.”

Only 31% of Elbert County residents have received their first dose; one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state.

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“We do not have a hospital in the county, so a lot of folks must go outside the county to get vaccinated. We only have four enrolled vaccine providers,” Elbert County Public Health Director Dwayne Smith said of the low vaccination rate. “There is certainly vaccine hesitancy among our residents, conservative residents in our community, and there’s also vaccine refusal. Some folks just aren’t comfortable they don’t feel like the vaccine has been fully vetted or tested.”

Smith hopes the new statewide incentive will convince people on the fence.

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“What better incentive is there than cash?” Smith said. “Individual behavior is a tough thing to gauge in a conservative community, but at this point, all options that we have at our disposal are going to hopefully incentivize people to get the vaccine.”

Some people in Elbert County are looking forward to the chance of winning $1 million.

“I think it’s kind of exciting,” said Michele Mossberg. “If I can win a million dollars for protecting myself and my family, I’m all for it.”

Other residents would rather take their chances.

“A million dollars is a million dollars, and I would love to have that, believe me, but I would rather go buy a scratcher,” Huston said.

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Andrea Flores