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Ohio governor says vaccine lottery was successful
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Sunday said his state's vaccine lottery system was "very, very successful" in getting more people inoculated.
The governor said he predicts "well over 100,000 extra people were vaccinated at a minimum" because of the program, particularly people "who either would not have been vaccinated or who would have delayed vaccination."
"So it was very, very successful. It was something that worked. And we're glad we did it," DeWine told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union."
Ohio was the first state to roll out a vaccine lottery program, with DeWine announcing in May that the state would give away millions of dollars in federal funds to incentivize people to get inoculated.
A total of five drawings took place, with each winner taking home $1 million. Ohioans aged 12 to 17 who had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the lottery's deadline were entered into a separate pool for the chance to win one of five four-year, full-ride scholarships.
A number of states followed Ohio's lead, implementing vaccine lotteries and other incentive programs to encourage individuals to get inoculated.
State leaders began implementing lotteries when vaccination rates started to decline, after the most eager Americans had already received their shots.
More than 164 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, translating to 49.5 percent of the total population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
DeWine on Sunday said the "whole game today is vaccinations" when asked if he anticipates reinstating any COVID-19 mitigation precautions.
"We have room to grow. We think we can continue to get more people vaccinated," he added.
He also noted that there has been a "significant increase in vaccination in the last week or so," which he predicts is largely because of fear of the highly infectious delta variant, which has become the dominant strain in the U.S.