Ohio lawmakers continue to fight Gov. Dewine on Vax-A-Million lottery

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s round three of the Vax-A-Million drawing tonight and you can see the announcements of the winner at 7:29 p.m. on WHIO-TV. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is giving away $1 million and a full college scholarship.

News Center 7′s Jim Otte reports that while the governor says it’s helping to promote the vaccine, his critics says it isn’t working.

The Vax-A-Million drawing was designed to boost COVID-19 vaccinations, at first, Gov. DeWine pointed to a definite increase in vaccinations as proof that the plan was working.

“We’ve got a lot more drawings coming. We’ve got three more weeks. You have the opportunity to win $1 million and a scholarship. It’s exciting,” DeWine said.

Just before the Vax-A-Million drawings were announced, vaccination rates were declining, and his goal was to get more people interested and stop the decline. The latest data from the state health department shows that less than 5 million people are fully vaccinated.

Critics, including Miami Valley State Representative Jena Powell said the Vax-A-Million giveaway is not working.

“It’s a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars and people don’t need to be bribed to get the vaccine in our state,” Powell said.

Data from the state health department said that while the number of vaccinations immediately following the announcement of the drawings was about 30,000 a day. Now, its dropped to half that. Two days this week it was less than 5,000 people.

Critics like potential candidate for governor Jim Renacci said it’s another example of DeWine pushing a program that doesn’t work.

He said, “The governor continues a lot of things that should not be continued. When is the mask mandates, whether it shte curfews, all of these things that have hurt businesses and hurt Ohio. He continues them until the legislature says no more.”

While DeWine is going full speed ahead with the drawings, critics like Powell said the moves from the governor are less about the vaccine and more about politics.

“The governor came out and announced the Vax-A-Million lottery because he needed a PR stunt because he was at a loss because the legislature was saying enough is enough, Ohio is not behind you any longer,” Powell said,

DeWine is expected to again have a media briefing tomorrow with the winners.