As demand for COVID-19 vaccines begins to decline nationwide, Ohio will try a new tactic to encourage people to get a shot: to give five residents a million dollars each, according to a The New York Times.
Starting May 26, the Ohio Lottery will draw the name of one person vaccinated a week for 5 weeks. The “Ohio Vax-a-Million” lottery will be funded with the state’s federal coronavirus relief dollars, Gov. Mike DeWine said during a statewide televised speech on Wednesday.
“I know some may say,‘ DeWine, you’re crazy! This millionaire drawing idea is a waste of money, “he wrote in a post on Twitter. “But really, the real waste at this time of the pandemic, when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it, is a life lost for COVID-19.”
I know that some may say, “DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money.” But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic — when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it — is a life lost to COVID-19.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) May 12, 2021
The drawing will include Ohio adults who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, he said. The set of names will come from the Ohio Secretary of State’s public voter registration database. People can also sign up for drawings on a website if it is not in the database.
To be eligible to win, Ohio residents must be over the age of 18 on the day of the draw and must be vaccinated before the draw. DeWine said more details will be posted in the coming days.
Under a similar program, five Ohioians ages 12 to 17 will be eligible for a full 4-year scholarship to one of Ohio’s public universities. According to vaccinated teens, they can register for the lottery on an electronic portal that will open on May 18th a Columbus’s office . The draw will take place five Wednesdays in a row and the scholarship will cover tuition, residence, dining room and books.
The announcement provoked mixed reactions on Wednesday, The New York Times reported. Some said the gift was better than other state incentive programs that offer free beer, gift cards and savings vouchers. Others questioned whether the money could be better spent on broader pandemic relief programs or whether the lottery complies with federal regulations.
“We’ve gone from 15 days to curb the spread to up to a million dollars if you get the # COVID19 vaccine,” U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in a post on Twitter. “Give me a break.”
During Wednesday’s announcement, DeWine also said the state mask warrant and all remaining coronavirus-related health orders will be lifted on June 2, except for those affecting nursing homes or nursing homes. assisted living facilities. After state orders expire, schools and businesses will be able to set their own requirements for face masks and social distancing.
“Every Ohio citizen will make their own decision about wearing a mask, social distancing, how to protect themselves, and when, for them, those actions are appropriate,” he said.
More than 4.8 million people in Ohio (or 42% of residents) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the last account of the Ohio Department of Health. Approximately 36% of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated, similar to 35% fully vaccinated nationwide, according to the latest CDC update Wednesday.
The New York Times: “The Ohio Lottery will give $ 5 million to 5 people each to encourage vaccination.”
Twitter: @GovMikeDeWine, May 12, 2021.
Columbus’s office: “Ohio will give $ 1 million to 5 vaccinated adults, 5 full college scholarships.”
Twitter: @Jim_Jordan, May 12, 2021.
Ohio Department of Health: “COVID-19 Vaccine Panel.”
CDC: “COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States.”