Ohio has ended its drive to encourage residents to receive the coronavirus vaccine — awarding $1 million prizes to 5 different individuals and additional college scholarships to teenagers.
The lottery-style giveaway used taxpayer funds to award the prizes and paved the way for many states to follow its example.
Initially, the extra encouragement seemed to inspire some residents to get vaccinated. After the start of the program, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that vaccination rates were up more than 43 percent throughout the state. However, after the increase, vaccination rates continued to drop throughout the state.
Up to this point, Ohio failed to achieve even 50 percent of all residents to be vaccinated.
The mixed results of the vaccine campaign has led some to question its implementation.
Ohio GOP Gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci criticized the decision by the DeWine administration.
“The last 8 days Ohio has averaged 5300 vaccines, 1/3 of the state average 25 days before the Governor announced the Waste-A-Million giveaway. Whoever Created This should be fired. Fire DeWine In 2022,” Renacci said of the effort.
Governor DeWine said yesterday Vax a Million is really working. LOL!
The last 8 days Ohio has averaged 5300 vaccines, 1/3 of the state average 25 days before the Governor announced the Waste-A-Million giveaway.
Whoever Created This should be fired. Fire DeWine In 2022.
— Jim Renacci (@JimRenacci) June 23, 2021
Even before the results of the campaign, Renacci was opposed to the giveaway.
He told Breitbart News, This is a perfect example of how career politicians waste money. This is an idea that would only come from a Democrat, yet it’s coming from a Republican governor. This is not what a Republican governor of any state should be doing.”
Other states that opted to follow DeWine’s initiative witnessed similar results. In New Mexico, residents could win up to $5 million. But, according to the governor’s office, the week after it was announced saw a 7-day average increase of only 85.
Even though vaccination rates have declined across the country, positive cases of COVID-19 have gradually dropped for weeks. Additionally, hospitalizations and deaths have decreased.
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