SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced on Thursday that the state will be offering up a slew of prizes lottery-style to residents who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
So how do you enter into these drawings? All you have to do is be a Washington resident and get vaccinated in Washington.
However, many have reported issues with their vaccination status.
Those who have experienced inaccuracies with their status are veterans, Washington residents who were vaccinated out of state, those between the ages of 16 and 18 and some others.
The Washington Department of Health (DOH) said in a press release that this could be due to multiple factors.
In regards to veterans, the federal government gets data from the Department of Defense (DoD), Veterans Affairs (VA), Bureau of Prisons, and potentially a few other sources of vaccines allocated directly from the federal government that do not get shared with DOH.
Then, Washington residents vaccinated out of state may not have records entered in the state’s Immunization Information System (IIS) but would be included in the CDC dashboard.
Then, they said the state goal and data dashboard report vaccine initiation for people 16 and older, which is 64% as of June 5. The federal government counts vaccine initiation only for people 18 and older.
After your first dose, your information will be inputted into the DOH database. This could take a few days to process. The DOH will assign numbers to each name and pass those numbers on to the state's lottery system.
The lottery system will use normal drawing methods to pick a number for each prize and send that number back to the DOH, who will match it with the appropriate name. Then, the state will make contact with the winner who will have 72 hours to claim their prize. If someone doesn't claim their prize within 72 hours, another name will be drawn.
Washington residents who got their vaccines in other states will not be eligible for the prizes at this time since the DOH does not have data from outside Washington.
People who received their shots through federal programs like the VA pharmacy partnership may or may not be eligible. State officials said Thursday that some people's records are inputted into the DOH database, though not all, and they've been working on getting that data for months.
A spokesperson for Gov. Inslee's office said the state has been "working for some time" with federal partners to obtain the data they use and incorporate it into the DOH system, making those who received their shots through federal programs eligible for the drawings. These efforts are ongoing, the spokesperson said.
If you want to check your records to see if your name is in the database, DOH officials say the best way to do that is through the records website. Again, it may take a few days after getting your vaccine before your information is processed on the site.
You can also check your records over the phone, by calling 833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357).
Remember, if you were vaccinated in Washington, you don't actually need to enter any information yourself to have your records put into the database, and therefore be eligible for the lotto drawings. The DOH will automatically enter everyone who's gotten at least one dose into each drawing.