Vaccine lottery did not increase rates in Ohio, study finds – NBC Boston
Big cash prizes aimed at boosting vaccination rates might not be as motivating as organizers hoped, according to a Boston University study.
As registration opened last week for VaxMillions, Massachusetts Vaccine Lottery – in which hundreds of thousands of fully vaccinated people across the state had to participate for a chance to win either a million dollar cash prize or a $ 300,000 scholarship – the researchers reported their findings on the study of a similar vaccine from the Ohio lottery program launched in May.
In Ohio, five million dollar prizes were up for grabs, an effort the state hoped to “raise awareness of the availability and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and inspire Ohioans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, ”according to the program’s website.
But it’s not clear that the promotion played a substantial role in increasing immunizations.
The researchers analyzed vaccination data from Ohio a month before the state announced the lottery and a month after the lottery was announced. They found no significant change in Ohio’s vaccination rate that could be linked to the lottery.
In fact, the only bump they noticed came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to teens between the ages of 12 and 15 to receive their vaccine.
“Our results suggest that state lotteries have limited value in increasing immunization. Therefore, resources spent on vaccine lotteries may be more successfully invested in programs targeting the underlying reasons for reluctance to. vaccination and weak vaccination, “said author Allan J Walkey, professor in BU medical school and physician at Boston Medical Center.
The researchers also noted that Ohio is above the national average for vaccinations, so another possibility is that people who would have been vaccinated already have it.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s May 12 announcement of the incentive program initially appeared to increase the vaccination rate – there was a rate of 43% increased number of state vaccinations in the week following the announcement. But vaccinations dropped after that.
“It is clear that the impact has diminished after this second week,” admitted DeWine.
There were at least some people who said they were influenced by the Ohio campaign, including second lottery winner Jonathan Carlyle of Toledo.
“When you all announced the Vax-a-Million, as soon as I heard that, I was like ‘Yes I have to do it now’,” he said on June 3, the day after the event. ‘calling his name.
What does all of this mean for the Massachusetts VaxMillions? The researchers aren’t quite sure yet, but they said they will be closely monitoring the vaccination rate in Bay State.