Over the past month, the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States has slowed. In response, companies and municipalities are offering vaccine incentives. To convince eligible Americans to get a chance, we’re seeing everything from free Krispy Kreme donuts to free craft beer in Erie County, NY. Now Mike DeWine, the governor of Ohio, is offering some people $ 1 million. In addition to the “Well, it escalated quickly” case, this is also a sign that officials are digging deeper when it comes to getting people vaccinated. DeWine calls this public health initiative “Ohio Vax-a-Million”.
Raise the bar for vaccination incentives
Of course, not every Ohioan who gets a vaccine gets $ 1 million. But over five weeks, five Ohioans aged 18 and over have the opportunity to win this sum in a drawing. The state lottery draws using the Ohio voter registration database. Winners must be at least 18 years of age, Ohio resident and receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This is a so-called “regret lottery”. Everyone enters, but only those who have a dose of the vaccine can win. Currently, 42 percent of eligible Ohio residents have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers have criticized DeWine’s use of federal funds to pay for the lottery. But that didn’t seem to deter the Republican governor of Ohio.
“I know some might say, ‘DeWine, you are crazy! Your multimillion dollar drawing idea is a waste of money, ”says DeWine. “But really, the real waste at this point in the pandemic – when the vaccine is available to anyone who wants it – is a life lost to COVID-19.”
There is a separate incentive program for Ohioans between the ages of 12 and 17. If they win the drawing, they will receive a four-year full scholarship to an Ohio university. This offer includes tuition, room and board, as well as books. Unlike the Vax-a-Million incentive, younger Ohio residents must sign up for the college raffle.
Earlier this month, President Biden set a goal that by July 4th, 70 percent of eligible Americans should receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. With that figure now at 58 percent, it seems that some people need more motivation than just immunization. Of course, if you live in Ohio there are a million reasons to get the bump now.
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