A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination drive-thru clinic at Evraz Place in Regina on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Saskatchewan’s only children’s hospital is opening its pediatric intensive care unit to younger adults who have COVID-19 as the province runs out of critical care beds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination drive-thru clinic at Evraz Place in Regina on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Saskatchewan’s only children’s hospital is opening its pediatric intensive care unit to younger adults who have COVID-19 as the province runs out of critical care beds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

Weekly vaccine lottery winners announced

The Alaska Chamber of Commerce announced the second week’s lottery winners Thursday, as part of the “Give AK a Shot” COVID-19 vaccine incentive program.

Ashley Pack of Palmer won this week’s adult $49,000 pool, while Dimond High School student Mollie Witt was awarded a $49,000 scholarship administered as an Alaska 529 savings plan.

“Give AK a Shot” allows for one newly vaccinated adult resident — 18 and up — to receive $49,000 cash, and one newly vaccinated child resident — 12 to 17 years old — to receive a $49,000 scholarship in an Alaska 529 education savings plan. If the child’s guardian is also vaccinated, they’ll be eligible to win another $10,000 in cash. The campaign, which is funded through the federal CARES act, will choose a winner each week through the end of October.

Kati Capozzi, the Alaska Chamber president and CEO, said almost 3,000 Alaskans received their first vaccine dose on week two, and about 30% of them entered the lottery.

Capozzi emphasized that the recently vaccinated person has to register for the lottery program themselves — it’s not automatic.

Pack said she decided to get vaccinated after she kept seeing COVID patients where she works as a medical assistant.

“Working with patients … sick (with) COVID on a daily basis, I just decided it was time,” she said.

Pack said she plans on using her sweepstakes winnings to put a down payment on a house.

Witt, who won a $49,000 scholarship, said the money will help alleviate some of the financial burden of college.

Her mom, Linda Witt, also got her first dose last week and won $10,000 cash. She said she plans on planning a family vacation.

“We were teasing like we knew we were going to be the winners last weekend,” Linda said. “So as soon as I told Mollie that she won she goes, ‘Yes, we’re going to Hawaii!’”

Mollie said she got vaccinated so that she would be able to continue learning in person.

“There really wasn’t a reason not to,” she said. “Because if I don’t get it and they get sick, then I’m out of school for a really long time, and I can’t do much because I didn’t like the online learning. And if I do get it, the symptoms … are less severe.”

To enter the incentive sweepstakes, participants must register with vaccine and personal information — including name, vaccination date and vaccination location — at giveakashot.com, and people are only eligible for the incentive prizes during the week in which they are vaccinated.

The third round of winners will be announced on Sept. 30. Drawings will continue once a week, with winners announced on Thursdays, through Nov. 4.

Alaskans vaccinated before Sept. 2 can enter to win for their one-time drawing any time before Oct. 30. For more information visit giveakashot.com.

Getting a COVID vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines do not cost money.

As an incentive to get the jab, the DHSS and Alaska Chamber of Commerce launched a lottery program for newly vaccinated eligible residents that offers weekly winners a prize of at least $49,000. To find out the eligibility requirements or to enter into the giveaway sweepstakes, visit giveakashot.com. The lottery lasts through Oct. 30.

Many different organizations on the central peninsula, including pharmacies in Walmart, Walgreens and the Kenai Fire Department, offer vaccines. They are also available for both residents and visitors at airports in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks.

Additionally, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy hosts a walk-in clinic in its strip mall storefront at the “Y” intersection of the Sterling and Kenai Spur highways Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Vaccination appointments can also be scheduled through the online portal PrepMod, which can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov.

A map of vaccine providers can be found on DHSS’ COVID-19 vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov.

People who would like assistance with scheduling a vaccination appointment can call the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management call center. The center operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The central peninsula call center can be reached at 907-262-4636. The Homer call center can be reached at 907-235-4636. The Seward call center can be reached at 907-224-4636.

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