State launches vaccine incentive program; $2 million to be given away via lottery

The “Shot of a Lifetime” incentive program announced Thursday by Gov. Jay Inslee will offer several giveaways for vaccinated Washington residents, including lottery drawings totalling $2 million and college tuition assistance.

The incentive program applies to all state residents who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the time of each weekly drawing, Inslee said.

Starting Tuesday, the state Lottery will hold one drawing a week for four weeks, with a prize of $250,000.

On July 13, a final $1 million drawing will held, said Marcus Glasper, state Lottery director during the Thursday press conference.

In addition, the state’s public four-year universities and two-year community and technical colleges will receive nearly $1 million to run their own drawing for free tuition and expenses for vaccinated students.

The state Lottery will conduct drawings to offer 30 prizes of one year of tuition college credits to 12- to 17-year-olds through the state’s Guaranteed Education Tuition program, with the credits going directly to the students’ families, Inslee said.

Other prizes in the drawings include Seattle Seahawks tickets, gaming consoles, gift cards and airline tickets.

Vaccinated residents do not need to enter the drawings. The state will use the Department of Health’s database of vaccinated individuals, Inslee said.

Selected winners will be contacted, using the information they provided when they were vaccinated, and will have 72 hours to respond or the prize they were selected for will be given to the next drawn person, Glasper said.

Both Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer, and Dr. Allison Berry, Clallam County health officer, support the incentive programs and urge residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible so they can protect themselves and the community as a whole.

“I think incentives are a great idea,” Berry said. “There’s a probably a lot of reasons that go into vaccine hesitancy … there are a bunch for whom getting vaccinated is just not high on their priority list.

“So, potentially an incentive might improve the chances of them getting vaccinated. You need access, education — access to good answers — and then you probably need incentives for vaccinations, and I think that will be a good addition to the mix.”

Inslee said the state is on track to open fully on June 30, and Locke urges unvaccinated residents to get at least one COVID-19 shot before then, saying their risk of infection is going to increase as restrictions loosen.

“We’re committed to protecting the unvaccinated from COVID-19, but something people have to realize is it’s going to be harder and harder to do that with each passing month,” Locke said.

“As these restrictions come off, once there’s no indoor masking requirements, full-capacity sporting events, and on and on, not only if you’re not vaccinated, if you’re not fully immunized, then you’re not fully immune and you’re at risk. It will be more dangerous for someone who is unvaccinated to go into a store or be in a crowded public place.”

Fully immunized means two weeks after receiving the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccination clinics are set as follows:

Jefferson County will have Johnson & Johnson vaccine available from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Saturday’s Port Townsend Farmers Market on Tyler Street. Appointments can be made at prepmod.doh.wa.gov or by calling 360-344-9791. Walk-ins will also be accepted.

Other vaccination locations in Jefferson County can be found at co.jefferson.wa.us/1429/COVID-19.

Clallam County Public Health is conducting two pop-up “shot and a beer” vaccination clinics at the Barhop Brewing and Artisan Pizza, 124 W. Railroad Ave., in Port Angeles. One is from 5-8 p.m. Saturday for second-dose Moderna shots, and it also will offer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The second clinic there is from 1-4 p.m. Monday.

People 21 and older who receive a shot at the Barhop events will be offered a free beer, Berry said.

The full calendar for pop-up clinics in Clallam County can be viewed at tinyurl.com/PDN-ClallamPopUps.

The state has a vaccination locator at vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov, which allows users to see where appointments are available and which vaccine will be used.

While all state residents 12 and older are eligible to be vaccinated, anyone younger than 18 can receive only Pfizer’s vaccine.

Peninsula cases

Clallam County confirmed four new COVID-19 cases on Thursday that are under investigation, with six cases confirmed in June, about 0.44 percent of 1,357 cases reported since the pandemic began, according to county data.

Jefferson County held steady with no new cases Thursday. One case has been confirmed in June, about 0.24 percent of the 418 total cases have been confirmed since the pandemic began, according to county data.

Clallam County had two patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Unit on Thursday tied to the long-term care facility outbreak of five cases so far. Jefferson County had one resident hospitalized.

Twenty-three COVID-19 cases were active in Clallam County on Thursday, while Jefferson County had two active cases.

Clallam County is in the state’s moderate-risk category with a case rate of 42 per 100,000 population for the past two weeks as of Thursday, while Jefferson County is in the state’s low-risk category with a case rate of 12.54 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Saturday.

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