Are financial incentives helping to boost Ohio’s vaccination rate?

DAYTON, Ohio — The state of Ohio’s fifth Vax-A-Million winners will be announced this week, but there are some questions about whether the financial incentives are working as well as planned.

The state’s vaccination rate still has not reached 50%, far below the national goal of 70% by Fourth of July.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell touched base with public health officials and spoke to people getting a shot today about their views of what’s taking place in the drive to immunize.

>> DeWine’s ‘Vax-A-Million Drawing’ under fire

Vaccinations rates did see a brief 43% boost after the first announcement of the Vax-A-Million incentives. However, Public Health-Dayton and Montgomery County said the boost is now long gone and they are not seeing as many people at their fixed sites or mobile clinics as they would like to.

Diana Tucker who brought her husband to a mobile vaccination clinic in Montgomery County said, “You know my husband is on a walker so this is a perfect set up.”

“It’s not far to have to walk. That was my concern,” Tucker said.

Tucker loved the convenience of the converted RTA bus, set up in the parking lot of the Hollywood Gaming casino off Needmore Road. It was convenient, close by and almost completely empty, besides a couple and the employees.

The Vax-A-Million drawings were supposed to provide a long-term boost for Ohio’s vaccination rates. More than 3 million people have signed up for the last couple of drawings, but it’s mostly those already vaccinated not those vaccinated in the last few weeks since the program began.

The state has jumped only from about 42% to 47% of adults vaccinated and will not be one of the 15 states so far that have reached the national goal of 70% of residents vaccinated.

“That’s not happening by July 1st,” Tucker said.

Tucker said her husband was able to receive the Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine. His immunization is the last step for family confidence.

“Yes, he’s the last person in the family to be vaccinated. His adult children are vaccinated so I just feel like we’ll have a little more flexibility,” she said.

Unless the scene at those fixed site and mobile vaccination clinics change dramatically, Ohio will not reach 70% vaccination rates by the 4th of July, a national goal.