COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio is planning more vaccine incentives after the Vax-a-Million lottery concluded this week with the fifth and final drawing.
What You Need To Know
- Now that the Vax-a-Million lottery has ended, Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is planning more incentives
- Instead of larger rewards like Vax-a-Million's 10 prizes, the next rewards will likely be smaller to award more people
- DeWine confirmed new incentives will be announced, but it's unknown when
The next round of incentives could be smaller rewards that are awarded to a greater number of people than Vax-a-Million, which conferred prizes to 10 winners over the past five weeks.
On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine said the state was talking with the private sector about possible partnerships for the next vaccine incentives.
“We certainly have talked about doing something in addition, maybe doing something a little differently. We've talked to some people in the private sector to see what they might be wanting to do. We don't have anything to announce yet today, but I think that we may come forward with something and stay tuned," DeWine said.
Last week, DeWine confirmed the state would be announcing new incentives.
“We're going to have some announcements after the last Vax-a-Million winner is announced at some point, not saying what day, but we'll have some different incentives,” the governor said during a June 17 news conference.
DeWine has deferred multiple reporters’ questions this week about the next round of incentives, stating he is not ready to announce the details at this time.
On Tuesday, DeWine said he had nothing to announce yet. He acknowledged that vaccination numbers in Ohio are down, but he praised the lottery’s success in the first two weeks in May following its announcement.
"The first week, it was a dramatic change and the second week was very solid as well, so we had two very solid weeks,” he said. “We still are not where we need to be — it's roughly 58% of the adults vaccinated in the state of Ohio.”
Ohio’s pace of vaccination dropped below 7,500 first-dose shots per day in the latest update, according to the seven-day average. At the peak in early spring, the state was average more than 65,000 first-dose shots per day.
Asked about more incentives on Wednesday, DeWine said “maybe” and chuckled, quickly turning to another question.
The governor said he doesn’t have any regrets about Vax-a-Million, but he agrees it might be smart to pivot to smaller prizes.
“One of the things that some people pointed out and, a lot of Ohioans have pointed out, is they might be also incentivized by smaller prizes, but more,” DeWine said. “That was something that certainly has been pointed out to us as a possibility as a way to potentially motivate people as well.”