Ohio Vax-A-Million: Vaccine lottery causes rise in COVID-19 vaccination rates

Ohio Vaccine Lottery

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Health officials said they have seen a slight uptick in the number of people getting vaccinated for COVID-19 since Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine first mentioned the Vax-A-Million program.

“When we look at data compared to, like, four weeks ago, prior to the announcement, there’s a slight increase in people who are coming to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, the Columbus Public Health commissioner. “We haven’t been able to decipher the data — how much of that are those 12 to 15-year-olds that are now eligible, but we have seen a bump. We have not seen the bump that our rural counties have though.”

According to the latest figures from the Ohio Department of Health, 47.41 percent of the population in Franklin County has started the vaccination process. ODH reports 41.48 precent of the county’s population is fully vaccinated.

“We’re making good progress, but we’ve got a long way to go still,” said Franklin County Public Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola.

By opting in to the Vax-A-Million program, Ohioans 18 and up, who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, will be entered to win $1 million in one of five weekly drawings. Residents between the ages of 12 and 17 can win one of five scholarships to a state university by opting in to the program.

“I know that as we’ve talked to some individuals that we’ve vaccinated, it’s definitely on their mind and rightly so,” said Mazzola of the program. “I think it’s a great incentive, so if it helps get more people thinking more about getting vaccinated more quickly, then it’s a win.”

People who have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to enter the drawings. To enter into the Vax-A-Million program, click here.

State officials say the winners will be announced every Wednesday through June 23.

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