Tuesday will be the first of the state’s drawings to award prizes to those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Washington residents 16 and older who have been vaccinated at any time with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination will be automatically entered into statewide giveaway lottery drawings each Tuesday for the next four weeks. That excludes employees of the state Lottery Commission or state Department of Health and their families as well as anyone who is incarcerated.
Prizes include cash awards — four $250,000 awards with one jackpot of $1 million — as well as tuition money, airline and game tickets and tech gifts like game consoles and smart speakers.
It isn’t necessary to do anything to enter. All those who have been vaccinated are automatically entered into a database.
The lottery is intended to persuade those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so, to help the state reach herd immunity, generally thought to be 70 percent or more of residents 16 or older receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Getting vaccinated is important because, “given the variants and that the masking has protected the unvaccinated so far, that protection is going to go away once the restrictions are released in three weeks or so,” said Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer, on Sunday.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that, in addition to the new vaccine incentive program, the state is also on track to open businesses to full capacity on June 30 or earlier.
Locke warned the unvaccinated to beware.
“If the virus had gone away, it would be great” to be unvaccinated and maskless, but “we are expecting to see it reintroduced into the community as people come and go,” he said.
“Given how much more infectious the variants are, the people who are unvaccinated will eventually become infected,” Locke said.
No new cases were reported in Jefferson County as of mid-afternoon Sunday. No update was available for Clallam County.
Jefferson added just one new case of the disease last week for a total of 418 since the pandemic’s onset, while Clallam added five cases for a total of 1,358 as of Saturday.
The latest data shows that 72.29 percent of Jefferson County residents 16 and older have initiated vaccinations, with 67.79 percent of them fully vaccinated, while 64.29 percent of the total population has started vaccinations, and 60.3 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.
Clallam County has vaccinated 61.65 percent of residents 16 and older with at least one dose, with 56.39 percent of them fully vaccinated, while 52.24 percent of the total population has begun vaccinations and 47.39 percent fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.
COVID-19 vaccinations are available from a variety of pharmacies, health care clinics and public health pop-up events this week.
As of Sunday, no pop-up clinics were scheduled this week in Jefferson County — although that could change, Locke said, if demand is high enough.
Residents are able to walk into the Jefferson Healthcare Express Clinic every day from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. to receive a Johnson & Johnson vaccine shot, or they can schedule with a primary care provider to receive Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson, said Amy Yaley, hospital spokesperson.
Vaccinations at local pharmacies in Jefferson County can be found at co.jefferson.wa.us/1429/COVID-19.
Clallam County Public Health is conducting a pop-up “shot and a beer” vaccination clinic at the Barhop Brewing and Artisan Pizza, 124 W. Railroad Ave. in Port Angeles, from 1-4 p.m. today. The clinic is for second-dose Moderna shots, and it also will offer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Each person 21 and older who receives 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.
Some of the larger grocery store chains such as Walmart, Safeway and QFC receive regular shipments of COVID-19 vaccines.
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.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is the only one-dose vaccine, with Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccine requiring two doses taken three and four weeks apart, respectively.
A person is considered fully immunized two weeks after their final dose.