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Get vaccinated, win $ 1 million: Ohio offers lottery to beat vaccine hesitation | Ohio

To those who are still hesitant to get the coronavirus vaccine, the governor of Ohio asks: would you do it for a million dollars?

Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that over the next five weeks, the state will remove the names of five people from its book of residents who have received at least one stroke and award them $ 1 million each. The lottery scheme will be funded by federal coronavirus relief funds, DeWine said in a televised address.

“I know some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy!’ “, Said the governor of the Republican Party on Twitter. “This idea of ​​yours to paint millions of dollars is a waste of money.” But the real waste at this point in the pandemic – when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it – is the life lost to Covid-19. “

In addition to the $ 1 million lotteries, DeWine announced that to encourage children between the ages of 12 and 17 to receive vaccines, the state will withdraw the name of one vaccinated child to receive a full, four-year college scholarship – including room, board and book fees.

It is not clear whether the lottery scheme complies with federal regulations on the use of support funds. The Ministry of Finance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Ohio scheme is one of many incentives that employees hope will increase the declining demand for Covid-19 vaccines. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said the state would reward young residents who were stabbed with $ 100 savings; Maryland is offering $ 100 to government officials who receive the vaccine; and New Jersey offers residents free beer.

The schemes have caused mixed reactions. While some praised efforts to increase vaccination levels, other health experts questioned the focus on offering incentives for those who are hesitant to remove barriers to low-income people in color who want the vaccine but could not access it.

About 30 million adult Americans fall into the second category, according to the U.S. Census. Some cannot retire from work and family responsibilities long enough to receive the vaccine and recover from its side effects. Others face language barriers or are unsure how to use online systems to register, or lack transportation to and from meetings. Elderly people and people with disabilities have also encountered difficulties in receiving the vaccine.

To address some of these barriers, the Biden administration has allocated $ 6 billion to health centers serving low-income communities. This week, the administration announced additional funding for local and tribal governments to target a scope and plan for offering free rides to vaccine centers.

Joe Biden has widely announced his goal of giving at least one dose of the vaccine to 70% of the country’s adult population by July 4th. But despite the early jump in demand, the vaccination rate has been declining in recent weeks. Some countries are refusing supplies because vaccine clinics and pharmacies are struggling to fill appointments.

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