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‘Take Your Shot’: Fairbanks community foundation opens vaccine lottery

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 4:11 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The North Star Community Foundation has opened a lottery for those who have received a COVID-19 vaccination.

According to Pete Pinney, Executive Director for the North Star Community Foundation, various donors have contributed money towards an incentive program to get the Fairbanks North Star Borough Vaccinated. Pinney explained, “We have donors who would like to see more vaccinations in the community, so they have put together a pot of money to reward people who have been getting their vaccinations, and encouraging folks to, if they haven’t done it already, to go ahead and do it. So they’ve set up a financial incentive for once a week for the next ten weeks, starting this week. It is a drawing for a thousand dollars for those who have proof of vaccination, and if there’s more donors coming in we can expand that beyond the ten weeks, but that’s what we’re starting with now.”

And the process for applying, according to Pinney, is as simple as one, two, three. “It’s actually what we’re calling our Vaccine Incentive Program, our VIP program. It’s basically a one-two-three thing. You get vaccinated, save a photo of your vaccination card, and then you email it to a specific address at the foundation.”

Pinney emphasized that all submitted information will be kept private and secure. “I know that some people are concerned about privacy. There’s only one person who is collecting the information off that website, and then once that week is done we delete all the information except for the email - we keep that in a general ledger. But there’s no association with the program, and the winners, if they don’t want to be publicly acknowledged, that’s fine too because it is a private matter so we want to respect privacy. But we just want to incentivize people to go out and get the shot.”

Michelle Bartlett, a volunteer with North Star Community Foundation explained that the program is also staffed by volunteers who are seeking to make sure their community is happy and healthy. “One of the reasons that this idea came about was we thought about incentivizing. What is it going to take for Fairbanks to get their shot in the arm? What is it going to take? We’ve had lots of opportunities to get it and those of us who jumped at the opportunity like I did on January 16th, we ran for it and we did it. Right now there seems to be a hesitancy.”

And according to Bartlett, there’s hope that the Vaccination Incentive Program will help boost Fairbanks’ vaccination rates and ensure the community is happy and healthy. “That’s the bottom line. We want a healthy community and Fairbanks is lagging behind Juneau. Why would we want to be behind Juneau on anything, right? Hopefully this will encourage people to go do it. I mean just do it for yourself, do it for your community. People say ‘well I hear that you might get sick after the vaccine,’ but you’re not going to die. That’s the bottom line. That’s what I tell people, you know? I am not going to die of COVID, because I got vaccinated.”

To enter the lottery, simply receive a COVID-19 vaccination, snap a picture of the vaccination card, and email it to 123vax@nscfundalaska.org.

The North Star Community Foundation has opened a vaccine incentive program that offers a...
The North Star Community Foundation has opened a vaccine incentive program that offers a thousand dollar lottery to vaccinated participants.(North Star Community Foundation | North Star Community Foundation)

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