COVID vaccine prizes: Ohio working on more incentives

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine (right) look on as Barry Gertner, 54, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Piqua. EILEEN McCLORY / STAFF
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine (right) look on as Barry Gertner, 54, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Piqua. EILEEN McCLORY / STAFF

With two weeks left in the Vax-a-Million campaign, Ohio is working with businesses and the private sector to come up with more incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday the state is working on “additional prizes,” but that nothing was ready to be announced at this time.

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“We have some kind of additional incentives and things the private sector has been working on,” he said. “We hope to announce those in the next few days.”

In May the state announced Vax-a-Million, a five-week campaign where Ohioans who have received at least one dose of the vaccine are eligible to win $1 million or a full college scholarship.

The campaign aims to increase awareness and encourage more residents to get vaccinated. In days following the initiative’s announcement, vaccination rates increased by 28%, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

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“What we achieved in the first week was worth all of it,” DeWine said.

As of Wednesday, more than 5.4 million people in Ohio have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Though people are continuing to get vaccinated, the governor warned that the virus is still out there and poses a threat, especially to those who haven’t been vaccinated.

“The more of us who get vaccinated the better off we all are going to be,” he said.

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