TACOMA — Prep for Washington state’s first COVID-19 vaccine lottery drawings this week has frustrated some residents who have not been able to confirm their status to make sure they are in the running.
While offering assurances that the state has residents’ COVID vaccination data on file, the state Department of Health on Monday also offered new tips on how to check your status.
Those seeking further information on eligibility can call the state’s vaccination hot line, 833-VAX-HELP, or go to its vaccination lottery website at walottery.com/vaccination.
After Thursday’s announcement by Gov. Jay Inslee about the “Shot of a Lifetime” lottery to nudge those who are still unvaccinated, residents reported difficulties in checking to make sure the state had their status correct.
The lottery will draw winners from those registered in the state’s immunization reporting records.
The Department of Health, in a statement issued Monday afternoon said:
“The Washington State Department of Health recognizes many people have experienced challenges while trying to confirm their records were transmitted to the Washington State Immunization Information System and they are eligible for the ‘Shot of a Lifetime’ lottery drawing.
“DOH also recognizes that many people were not able to verify their COVID-19 vaccine record in MyIR Mobile. However, the records have been transmitted to the WAIIS, which means DOH is able to access immunization data and will be able to pull winners from the pool of eligible vaccine recipients in the state.”
Lottery prizes include cash or merchandise, including gaming systems, as well as tuition credits for college students. Cash drawings once a week of $250,000 for four weeks begin June 8, with a final additional drawing of $1 million on July 13.
The state will contact winners individually. Winners have 72 hours to call back a Lottery representative from time of notice to have been selected to win a prize or they will be disqualified from winning the prize, according to the lottery details. Prizes unclaimed in the first four drawings will be placed in the fifth and final drawing.
Washington is one of several states offering vaccine lotteries to help get to the goal of 70 percent receiving at least one dose given to those ages 16 and over. The state of Washington is aiming for June 30 to hit the target.
So far, 64 percent of Washingtonians 16 and older have initiated vaccination.
One caveat to eligibility: Those who received vaccines via the U.S. Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs in the state are not listed in the state system.
The state is pursuing an option that would allow those individuals to opt in.