With the first drawing in the “Vax Nevada Days” raffle on Thursday and the week’s top prize of $250,000 at stake, more residents are asking: “How do I enter?”
Getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine is typically all that’s needed to be entered into the raffle aimed at boosting Nevada’s vaccination rates, which was announced last month by Gov. Steve Sisolak. About 53 percent of Nevada’s eligible population has gotten a first dose, compared with a national average of 64 percent.
For most people, no further action is necessary. There are no entry forms to fill out.
“Any Nevada resident vaccinated in Nevada is automatically entered,” Shannon Litz, a representative of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, said in an email.
Once a vaccination provider records a resident’s shot in Nevada WebIZ, the state’s system for keeping track of vaccinations, raffle entry is automatic. The state urges vaccinators to record shots as soon as possible, but requires that records be input within 24 to 72 hours.
Nevadans vaccinated through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense, which use a separate tracking system, will also be automatically included in the drawing, Litz said.
As with those residents who are entered through the Nevada WebIZ system, a unique number will be assigned to each VA vaccination record, and then computer tools will be used to randomly select the winners.
“No personally identifiable information such as name, birthday or Social Security numbers will be shared with anyone outside of VA,” according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Winners will be contacted by VA staff.”
However, some residents may have what Litz referred to as a “unique situation,” where their COVID-19 vaccination is not recorded in either the state or VA system.
One example of this would be Nevada residents who got their shots in another state. “These residents can email email@example.com to have their record added,” Litz said.
Litz recommended that residents with any other specific concerns about contest entry send an email to the same address.
Some residents have checked the Nevada WebIZ public access portal and not found their vaccination record.
Litz said this is typically caused by one of two issues: Either there is no contact information in their record to allow the system’s two-factor authentication system to work, or the information they are entering does not match what is stored in their record. An old email address or phone number could be associated with the name in the system.
“Emailing is still the best way to ensure you can confirm these records, but the records are indeed there,” she said.
But if contact information in the tracking system is incomplete, how does the state notify winners?
“The Nevada State Immunization Program will work with state agency partners to find correct contact information to reach winners who may have outdated or be missing information in their record,” Litz said.
Prizes to be announced Thursday include cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $250,000, tuition prizes from $5,000 to $50,000, as well as state fishing licenses and annual state park permits. Details on the timing of the announcement have not yet been released. There will be weekly drawings through Aug. 26, when the $1 million top prize will be announced.
More information on using the Nevada WebIZ portal and on the raffle can be found at https://www.vaxnevadadays.org/webiz-public-access-portal.