DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After mixed reactions to the Vax-a-Million lottery, Governor Mike DeWine and other state officials are now working on new incentive plans aimed at getting people vaccinated.
The Ohio Department of Health’s current numbers show under 50% of Ohioans are vaccinated. However, some people still feel these incentives aren’t the right move to encourage more vaccinations.
“Honestly it feels like the government’s being a bit wasteful,” said Phyllis Caraway.
Caraway got vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in April, and has lost family members to the virus. “It just seems to diminish the significance of the economic impact that people have experienced, like we’re trying to make it a game.”
Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein, patient safety officer at Kettering Health, said that with no sign of the Delta variant slowing down, getting the vaccine is key to preventing the spread. “Not only is it more contagious but it looks like it causes more severe disease.”
Weinstein said it doesn’t matter how young a person is, that they can still catch the virus at any age and could end up in intensive care or on a ventilator.
While Weinstein doesn’t disapprove of vaccination incentives, he feels it should be more about spreading proper information. “It’s got to be a multipronged attack. Getting the word out there, getting access, especially in rural areas where rates of vaccination are lower. Breaking down hesitancy.”
For now, DeWine hasn’t announced when he plans to tell people about the new incentives, but has hinted at more giveaways for less money.