Amid a lack of willingness to get vaccinated, the Ohio Governor has announced a new lottery for those who get vaccinations.
Starting May 26, the state will award $1 million each week to an adult who has received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Mike DeWine said. There will be five total drawings. “I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money,'” the governor said during an address Wednesday. “But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic — when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it — is a life lost to COVID-19.” The drawings will be conducted by the Ohio Lottery, with money coming from existing federal COVID-19 relief funds.
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Over 4.8 million people ages 18 and up in Ohio — 53.4% of that population — have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide, 58.7% of those ages 18 and up have gotten at least one dose. Ohio’s announcement comes as the state is also planning to end all COVID-19 health orders on June 2 — including on mask and social distancing requirements and capacity restrictions — except in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
“This will give anyone who has not been vaccinated time to get the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna and be well on the way to full immunity,” DeWine said Wednesday. “Now, lifting these orders does not mean the virus is gone. It does not mean we are all safe,” he said. “Each Ohio citizen will make their own decisions about wearing a mask and social distancing — and when, for them, that’s appropriate” [ABC News].
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEWSWEEK