Department of Defense to give more vaccine data to North Carolina, but not enough to add patients to vaccine lottery

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — North Carolina is now getting statewide vaccination data from more federal providers, but does that mean more people will be eligible for the state’s vaccine lottery?

Unfortunately, no.

If you were vaccinated by the U.S. Department of Defense, you are not entered into the drawing.

North Carolina’s Summer Cash Drawing vaccine lottery will include drawings every second week for four weeks. During each of these drawings, the state will randomly select one vaccinated adult over the age of 17 to win a $1 million prize. They will also select one vaccinated teenager between the ages of 12 and 17 to receive a $125,000 prize to go towards tuition for post-secondary education.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that federal providers are now able to provide statewide data to the state. This includes data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Prisons and Indian Health Service.

NCDHHS will include this new statewide data in the vaccine tallies on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

However, the U.S. Department of Defense has not agreed to offer detailed vaccination or demographic data to the NCDHHS. The governor’s office told FOX8 on Tuesday that the state does have access to patient information from Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service.

That means that North Carolina will know how many North Carolinians these federal agencies vaccinated, but not the DOD’s patient names or demographic data. Without the patients’ names, the state cannot add these patients to the lottery.

“DHHS is not able to access data for people who were vaccinated at locations operated by the Department of Defense. Therefore, these persons are ineligible for the drawing,” the NCDHHS says.

This also means that the NCDHHS’s data by demographic and county will continue to undercount the true number of doses administered to those demographics and counties. 

The drawings will run until Aug. 4. Drawings will take place every other week on Wednesdays. New entries will close at midnight the Sunday before the Wednesday drawing.

Shelly Wyramon of Winston-Salem was the winner of the first $1-million-dollar drawing on June 23, and 14-year-old Vania Martinez was the winner of the first Cash for College scholarship, totaling $125,000. Martinez said she had just started a summer job to help pay for college.

The state has not yet announced the winner of the July 7 drawing.

Anyone who has already received at least one dose of vaccine will receive one entry into the drawing. Anyone who gets vaccinated now, since the announcement of the lottery, will receive two entries.

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