Study: Vax-a-Million lottery did not increase Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccination rates

People walk past sign displayed for Ohio's COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State...
People walk past sign displayed for Ohio's COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University, Tuesday, May 25, 2021(Source: AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 11:13 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A recent study shows that Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery was not an effective incentive to improve the COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Ohio’s bold approach with the lottery-based incentive was imitated by other states in an effort to improve rates, but publishers of the study claim it did not factor into significant changes of the vaccination percentages.

“Prior evaluations of the Ohio vaccine incentive lottery did not account for other changes in COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States, such as those that may have been due to expansion of vaccination to ages 12-15,” explained Dr. Allan J. Walkey, professor of medicine.

The study was conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions to evaluate vaccination trends in individuals who are 18 years and older based on rates of surrounding states.

“Our results suggest that state-based lotteries are of limited value in increasing vaccine uptake,” Dr. Walked added. “Therefore, the resources devoted to vaccine lotteries may be more successfully invested in programs that target underlying reasons for vaccine hesitancy and low vaccine uptake.”

As of Wednesday morning, approximately 48% of Ohio’s population started the vaccination process, according to data from the state’s Department of Health.

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