If there is one thing people love, it’s getting something for nothing. And the OL Reign and Seattle Sounders and are helping to leverage that to improve Washington’s vaccination rate in the fight against Covid-19.
On Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new incentive program designed to get those Washingtonians who for whatever reason have not yet gotten vaccinated to do so. The program follows other states who have offered similar programs to boost vaccination rates.
According to the most recent data from the Department of Health (DOH), approximately 63% of Washingtonians 16 years and older have initiated their vaccinations. “These generous programs will encourage more Washingtonians to take this life-saving vaccine,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. “I hope people will see this as an opportunity to reopen even sooner than June 30 if we can stay motivated, stay informed and get more people vaccinated faster throughout the month of June.”
The program, dubbed “Shot of a Lifetime,” offers cash and other prizes to Washington residents who have received one of the vaccinations. Lottery cash drawings, with prizes totaling $2 million, are available.
While nothing talks like cold, hard cash, the Reign and Sounders are also helping to get the word out on the importance of getting vaccinated by offering some prizes of their own.
The Reign have put up four 2021 season tickets, plus a team-signed jersey. The decision to ante-up some valuable prizes was a no-brainer, according to Reign President Bill Predmore. “We have the opportunity and obligation to use our platform to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of individuals in our community, Predmore said. “When asked to participate in Washington state’s Shot of a Lifetime program we immediately and enthusiastically agreed, as every shot provided protects an individual, enhances the overall safety of our community, and takes us all one step closer to a return to normalcy.
“We will continue to do our part to help this effort in any way we can.”
The Sounders for their part have offered up four tickets to a game in August, plus two autographed jerseys.
The lottery is being funded by the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund that was appropriated by the State Legislature. Merchandise and ticket prizes were donated by Washington companies and sports teams.
All Washington residents who are 16 or older, regardless of citizenship, are eligible to win if they have received at least one dose, and you must be a Washington resident to claim a prize. The winners will be drawn from the DOH immunization database, which includes anyone who has been vaccinated. Employees currently working at the Office of the Governor, Washington State Lottery and Department of Health and their households are not eligible.
Washington is set to reopen fully on June 30, or when the percentage of eligible adults who have initiated vaccination reaches 70%, whichever comes first.