Many states offered incentives for residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it became available to anyone over the age of 16. One of the most well-known incentives was found in Ohio, which created a Vax-A-Million lottery that would enter people who obtained the COVID-19 vaccine into a lottery for $1 million. Children who were vaccinated would be entered into a drawing for a full-ride scholarship to attend one of Ohio’s state universities.
But a new study suggests the lottery didn’t increase the state’s vaccination rate any more than states that did not offer a similar lottery, Fox 8 reported. The study, conducted by Boston University’s School of Medicine, compared vaccination rates in Ohio with some states that offered no such incentive. It found that Ohio did see an increase in vaccinations after the lottery was announced – but other states saw a similar spike around the same time because the eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine was expanded to include those added 12 to 15.
Dan Tierney, spokesperson for Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH), suggested the study was flawed for focusing on the expanded age group. Tierney said the state had already removed the younger age group when it compiled data on the lottery in order to tout its success.