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Washington State announces incentives for the vaccine hesitant.

On June 3 Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a slew of incentives to help speed up the vaccination rate in Washington state. He is one of many Governors throughout the United States who have joined the Biden-Harris administrations latest push to reach the pivotal 70% that will hopefully bring us to herd immunity.

Inslee's incentive program offers a wide variety of prizes over the next month. As long as you are a resident of Washington, and have been vaccinated for Covid-19 in the state, regardless of when you received your vaccination, you will be eligible to receive one of the prizes.

Cash prizes will start next week, with a Washington State Lottery drawing of $250,000 every week for a total of four weeks. Which is to be followed by the grand prize drawing of $1 million. Those who have been vaccinated do not have to do anything to be entered into theses drawing. Names will be automatically pulled from the DOH statewide immunization database.

Also offered are incentives directed towards higher education assistance. With nearly $1 million dispersed directly to public four year universities and two year community colleges. That will run their own drawings for free tuition and expenses. In addition the state will be offering a total of 30 prizes, for one year of college tuition, to those age 12-17, through the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program. With the credits going directly to the families.

Various companies and sports teams around Washington have also stepped up and offered incentives to vaccinated individuals. Alaska Airlines is offering two free tickets to anywhere they fly. The Seattle Mariners have announced 4 tickets to an upcoming game, and a full suite to an upcoming game. Seattle Sounders will offer 4 tickets to a game in August, plus 2 autographed jerseys. While the Seattle Storm will be giving out 10 tickets a game for the rest of the season. The Seahawks have announce they will give away four club level seats with parking passes, and the Kraken have announced they will be offering concert tickets. Not to be outdone the OL Reign will give out four 2021 season tickets plus and signed team jersey.

Inslee also announced that there are several technology and software companies that are offering incentives as well. Such as Microsoft, who will be giving away 300 Xbox systems along with Game Passes to those who are vaccinated. Nintendo has also announced that they will be giving away a Nintendo Switch and Google will offer 25 Google Nests, and Amazon will be giving away 100 Echo Dots.

Washington State Parks has agreed to give away 80 "one week of free camping" gift cards with a cash value of $250. And Washington Fish and Wildlife will be giving away eighty $100 gift certificates for fishing and hunting licenses, also included in their prize list are 400 Discover Passes, which allow access to various recreation on State land.

As part of their Care-a-Van- mobile effort the Washington State Department of Health will be giving out $500,000 in gift cards throughout the summer. The gift cards will range from groceries to fishing gear and top soil.

The Washington State Commerce has partnered with the Association of Washington Business and local chambers of Commerce and will be purchasing $1 million in gift cards to local businesses throughout the state, which are to be given out at vaccine locations. More details about locations and dates will be released soon from the Commerce and AWB.

During his press conference yesterday Gov. Inslee said he is hoping, "[t]hese generous programs will encourage more Washingtonians to take this life saving vaccine." Recent data from the DOH states that only 63% of Washingtonians 16 or older have started the vaccination process. The Governor has previously stated that Washington would be able to fully reopen June 30th or sooner if 70% of residents in Washington have started the vaccination process or are fully vaccinated. Governor Inslee's hope is that "people will see this as an opportunity to reopen sooner than June 30 if we stay motivated, stay informed and get more people vaccinated faster throughout the month of June."

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