COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The number of people in Ohio, 16 years and older, who received their initial COVID-19 vaccine rose 33% this week after the state announced its $ 1 million incentive lottery, although ‘ an analysis shows that the vaccination figures are well behind what they were in March and most of April.
In the week following the May 12 announcement of the lottery, 119,394 people aged 16 and over received the one-vaccine Johnson & Johnson vaccine or their first batch of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health.
This is an increase of nearly 30,000 of the 89,464 people in the same age group who received a first shot during the seven-day period from May 6 to May 12, according to an analysis of the state’s data by The Associated Press.
The analysis did not include the vaccination numbers for children aged 12 to 15, who were only eligible for the vaccine on the day the lottery was announced.
The Ohio data do not keep track of motives, so it is impossible to know how many more adults or children were persuaded to receive a vaccine at a million-dollar price or a scholarship.
The health department said the boost after the Vax-a-Million was promising.
“The bottom line is that it’s the trend line in Ohio residents that has started changing the vaccination process, and rather than declining, the trend is moving upwards,” spokeswoman Alicia Shoults said.
But the data indicates that the lottery helped prevent a significant slump in the collapse.
Only about 1.5% more people were vaccinated in the seven days after the Vax-a-Million lottery was announced compared to the period from April 29 to May 5 when 117,578 people received the first vaccine. The number vaccinated after the announcement of the lottery is also significantly lower – by 17% – than the 143,527 vaccinations during the period from 22 April to 28 April.
It’s great if the incentive helps to get thousands of residents vaccinated, but the state still has a long way to go if the total vaccination rate continues to rise so slowly, Mark Cameron, an immunologist and infectious disease researcher at the Case Western Reserve University, said. He noted that less than half of Ohio’s residents are vaccinated.
“If we can not figure out how the population can get past the remaining vaccine refusal or vaccination hesitation, you know, then we could run into problems,” Cameron said. He said he was concerned that the urgency of being vaccinated was waning and that a further increase in cases was possible as restrictions were lifted and we approached Memorial Day and the beginning of summer.
State Health Director Stephanie McCloud said the incentives were “needed to increase interest” in getting vaccinated and that there was a “dramatic increase in vaccinations” in the group of 16 and older.
More than 5.1 million people in Ohio have started the vaccination at least as of Friday, or 44% of the state. About 4.5 million people are already vaccinated, or 38% of the state.
More than 1 million people signed up Vaccine lottery in Ohio since Gov. Mike DeWine announced it during a May 12 state of the nation address.
The health department plans to announce the total number of participants on May 24 after the first names have been drawn and the entries verified. Winners must be permanent residents of Ohio and have received at least one dose of the vaccine, which means that the first person drawn by the state may not be the eventual winner.
The first winners will be announced on May 26 at the end of Cash Explosion, the official TV show in Ohio Lottery.
Both adults hoping for the $ 1 million prize and teens seeking college scholarships can register themselves, but parents or legal guardians must consider them.