State offers incentives to get vaccinated
— Created June 9, 2021 by Kathy Reed
By Kathy Reed
Washington has joined a growing list of U.S. states offering assorted incentives for those people who have received their COVID-19 vaccination.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the “Shot of a Lifetime” program at a press conference last week. The incentive package includes four once-weekly drawings for $250,000 cash and a final drawing of $1 million, which will be administered through the Washington Lottery. There are hundreds of other prizes as well, such as game systems, tickets to sporting events, airline tickets, gift cards and higher education tuition and expense assistance.
The incentives, while hopefully spurring on those who are unvaccinated to get their shot(s), are not just for new vaccinations. Anyone vaccinated in Washington is automatically entered into the drawings by the State Department of Health (although it does not include some federally-administered vaccinations). Drawings began Tuesday and will continue for the next four weeks. Entry into the drawings is automatic.
As of last week, about 63 percent of those residents 16 and older have initiated their COVID-19 vaccination. The intent is to hit the 70 percent vaccination mark, which Inslee said will save lives and move the state forward in its reopening plan.
“These generous programs will encourage more Washingtonians to take this life-saving vaccine,” Inslee said during the press conference. “I hope people will see this as an opportunity to reopen even sooner than June 30th if we can stay motivated, stay informed and get more people vaccinated faster throughout the month of June.”
The state is set to reopen fully on June 30 or when 70 percent of the population has initiated or completed vaccination, whichever comes first.
“Our state has made tremendous progress, with well over half of our population 16 and older fully vaccinated, but there are still far too many people who have not started vaccination,” said Dr. Umair Shah, Washington Secretary of Health. “We hope this effort encourages people to get their vaccine to protect themselves and their communities as we push toward reopening at the end of this month.”
As stated, Washington Lottery will handle the prize drawings. DOH will provide names of those vaccinated from its database to the lottery. The only action necessary to be entered into the drawings is to be vaccinated.
“As the state’s principal agency on conducting lottery drawings, we are honored to be able to play even a small role in administering a promotion that helps ensure that our state’s residents are healthy and protected as we continue to move towards ending the pandemic,” said Marcus Glasper, director of the Washington State Lottery.
Island County’s statistics on the number of people vaccinated basically mirrors that of the state – about 63 percent. There are multiple business locations providing vaccines throughout the county. Those interested in scheduling a vaccination appointment can go to islandcountywa.gov and follow links to each of the 12 listed providers to schedule their shot. In addition, Island County Public Health has several upcoming mobile vaccination locations scheduled. These mobile clinics are open to the public with no charge and no appointment necessary:
- Saturday: Langley Street Fair, Langley – 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday: Bayview Farmers Market – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- July 4: Independence Day Celebration at Windjammer Park, Oak Harbor – 1 to 6 p.m.
- July 15-18: Island County Fair, Langley – Potentially 12 to 7 p.m. each day, still to be determined
The Island County mobile vaccination team will give COVID-19 vaccinations at any facility/location where groups of five or more people will be vaccinated. There is no cost for this service. The team can also create a pop-up vaccination clinic at most locations where vaccines can be administered with no appointment necessary. Pop-up clinics are free and open to the public. Those interested can contact Liz Smith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 360-320-5000.