SURVEY: Readers think Vax-A-Million lottery will be ineffective, wasteful

Credit: Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County

Credit: Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County

An online survey by the Dayton Daily News received over 1,400 responses Thursday and found that many think the Vax-A-Million lottery — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan to give away $1 million prizes and college scholarships to coronavirus vaccine recipients — will be ineffective and a waste of money.

Here are the results:

About 29% of respondents think a $1 million lottery will make the people in their lives more motivated to get vaccinated and 72% do not think so.

Brenda Ronnebaum from Greene County said, “People in my life have already gotten the vaccine or are, sadly, staunchly opposed to it.”

Diana Harris from Butler County said she is “doubtful that a lottery will influence anti-vaxxers.”

About 34% of respondents think offering a college scholarship will make it more likely children in their lives will get vaccinated and about 66% do not think the incentive will have an effect.

Lauren Durnwald from Montgomery County is among the minority of respondents who think the incentives will work.

“People who are not incentivized to get vaccinated for the sake of protecting their health and the health of their neighbors will be incentivized by money,” Durnwald said.

Patti Russell-Campbell from Montgomery County said, “I think it’s a shame that folks won’t get vaccinated unless they get money. They are very selfish.”

When the state health orders are lifted on June 2, about 33% of respondents said they will continue wearing face masks in businesses that do not require it and about 67% said they will be ditching the mask.

“Orders should’ve been lifted months ago,” said Jennifer Pond from Warren County.

“I am over the whole mask thing,” said a survey respondent from Warren County. “I won’t go to business that requires it after the lifting of mandate.”

Some respondents said they feel safe leaving the mask at home after being fully vaccinated and in light of new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Others, including some with underlying conditions, said they are nervous about orders being lifted and going maskless.

One Butler County survey respondent said they will continue wearing a mask because “there are so many people that refuse to get vaccinated and (they) don’t feel safe.”

About 28% of respondents think using a lottery to encourage people to get vaccinated is a good use of federal money and about 72% think it is not a good use of funds.

The Ohio Department of Health is sponsoring the give-away, which will be paid for with federal COVID relief funds. For context, the most recent COVID relief bill passed by congress gave Ohio $5.6 billion to help with pandemic-related expenses.

“It’s a waste of tax dollars,” said Ron Harbage from Clark County.

Other survey respondents said the lottery discriminates against people exercising their right not to get vaccinated.

Bradley Stolfa from Montgomery County said, “Why not? I think it’s a clever way to get people in the door.”

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