Study Finds Ohio Vaccination Lottery Didn’t Increase Jabs

Study Finds Ohio Vaccination Lottery Didn't Increase Jabs a man holds proof of vaccination (Antwon McMullen/Dreamstime)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Wednesday, 27 October 2021 10:51 PM

A study released in October found offering cash incentives to get vaccinated did not improve vaccination rates and was "statistically indistinguishable from" having not done it.

In June, Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, according to CleveScene, announced the state would offer a lottery to those who got a COVID-19 vaccine. The lottery, Vax-a-Million, would give five people over the course of five weeks $1 million if they got vaccinated, as well as scholarships to younger residents.

"I know that some may say, 'DeWine, you're crazy!'" the governor adds. "'This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money.' 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."

Toward the end of the month, DeWine would announce the program as a great success.

But according to the new study, the lottery did not produce any significant improvements in vaccination rates.

"There were 37.2 million first doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the United States between April 28 and July 1, 2021, including 19.2 million in states that announced cash drawings," the study outlined. "Estimates of the association between an announcement and vaccination rates were very small in magnitude and statistically indistinguishable from zero.

"No statistically significant association was detected between a cash-drawing announcement and the number of vaccinations before or after the announcement date, a period that included announcements of lottery winners for most lottery states."

"[O]ur research points to a disappointing outcome — that is, there was no significant association found between a cash-drawing announcement and the number of vaccinations administered after the announcement date," Andrew Friedson, one of the study's authors, said.

The study extrapolates from another research piece that found Vax-a-Million not to have had a significant impact on vaccinations.