The Daily Mail:
- Governor Mike DeWine unveiled his plan to overcome vaccine hesitancy in Ohio
- Vaccinated adults will be entered into a draw each week to win $1million
- Five minors will win full four-year scholarships to an Ohio public university
- The prizes will be paid for with federal pandemic relief funds 42 per cent of Ohioans have received at least a dose but takeup is falling
Governor Mike DeWine has unveiled a new $1million a week lottery system to encourage people in his state to get vaccinated.
Adults who have had at least one vaccine dose will be automatically entered into the draw each week, while minors will be able to win full-ride college scholarships in a bid to overcome vaccine hesitancy in the state.
The money will come from federal pandemic relief funds and it is hoped the prizes will reverse a recent lull in vaccine take-up.
The move comes as governors, health officials and community leaders are coming up with creative incentives to get more shots in arms, including insider access to NFL locker rooms and an Indianapolis 500 garage, cash incentives and free travel
State Rep. Emilia Sykes, the top House Democrat, questioned the use of federal funds.
‘Using millions of dollars in relief funds in a drawing is a grave misuse of money that could be going to respond to this ongoing crisis,’ she said.
DeWine acknowledged the unusual nature of the financial incentives.
‘I know that some may say, “DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money,”‘ he said. But the real waste, when the vaccine is now readily available, ‘is a life lost to COVID-19,’ the governor said.
The White House and Treasury Department had no immediate comment on the governor’s plan.
All Ohio’s Covid-19 orders except those applying to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will end June 2, the Republican also announced during the address.
However, DeWine noted that stores and businesses still may require customers to be masked.