#HIGotVaccinated announces winners, extends campaign

Posted on Jun 25, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Elaine Nishiura and Mark Matsuo were the first prize winners.

Mark Matsuo and Elaine Nishiura were the first prize winners.

By the time you read this, Hawai‘i could be nearing the goal of 60% of the population being fully vaccinated. And to keep the momentum going, coordinators have announced a new round of prizes, including cash, that will start July 12 and run through Aug. 20. More #HIGotVaccinated prize winners will be announced through the summer, but the real winner is the whole community in the state’s push to reach a 70% vaccination rate. A Hilo woman and a Honolulu man were the first two winners of the campaign. Elaine Nishiura won 100,000 HawaiianMiles, provided by Hawaiian Airlines. Mark Matsuo won two round-trip tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. “I really appreciate it and was very excited to have won, especially since my husband and I just celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary,” Nishiura said. “I would like to tell everyone to get vaccinated so we can get to a more safe and normal lifestyle.” Matsuo added, “Mahalo to Alaska Airlines. So glad I got vaccinated, and you should too!”

The DOH’s campaign of outreach, education and access, along with the incentives, is helping motivate more people to take action, say the coordinators.  More than 240,000 vaccinated individuals have registered for a chance to win prizes, along with the separate discounts to restaurants and businesses statewide. Comedian Frank De Lima even composed a song to urge people to get vaccinated. Some people have asked, “Isn’t the health protection enough without the freebies?” But DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr said the department’s multi-pronged approach is meant to give people every reason to get their shots. “To make vaccinations convenient, we’ve gone to beach parks and shopping malls as well as worked with community partners for targeted outreach,” he said. “We found some people who didn’t know the vaccinations were free. Others just wanted more information or couldn’t find the time until now.”

Baehr said the prizes and website have been community-driven, thanks to coordinator Patrick Bullard, managing director of Heinrich & Bullard Marketing. The health department has focused on answering people’s questions and making sure the shots were easily available through multiple community partners. To register for the vaccine incentive, go to https://higotvaccinated.com/.

Read more in the July Capitol Connection newsletter.

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