COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio’s newest COVID-19 vaccine incentive program has officially launched.
It’s called Vax-2-School and is the state’s latest effort to get more people to get the COVID-19 shot.
State data shows about 54% of Ohio’s population has started the vaccination process as of Sunday. Health leaders hope the program increases that number.
Starting Monday, people age 12 to 25 years old can sign up for Vax-2-School for a chance at winning one of 150 $10,000 scholarships or one of five $100,000 scholarships good at any Ohio college, university, technical or trade school, or career program. The drawings are open to those who have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 shot.
Vax-2-School is similar to the state’s earlier Vax-A-Million program in that people will have to register to have a chance to win.
“I think it’s great,” said Columbus resident Maureen Traverse. “I hope the more kids, if it helps convince kids’ families, if it gives them some incentive to do it, I think the more kids are vaccinated, the better.”
The state is also planning on expanding the lottery to 5 to 25-year-olds if and when vaccines are approved for those younger ages.
“Anything you can do to get more people vaccinated, which allows more kids to stay in school and reduces the spread is helpful,” said Jason Cervenek.
Traverse said she will get her 6-year-old son vaccinated once the vaccine is approved for that age group.
“But it wouldn’t be due just to that incentive,” said Cervenek. “That data is overwhelming that it’s safe and effective and there’s been many studies done, but it’s an extra incentive to do it. It’s icing on the cake, maybe.”
Exact drawing dates and deadlines to sign up for the drawings have not been announced. However, the state’s health director said drawings would likely start two weeks after the vaccine is approved for those 5 years old and up.