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Leader Sykes says combatting vaccine hesitancy, increasing access yields better results than Vax-a-Million

New study indicates lottery did not increase vaccination rates in Ohio
July 7, 2021
Democratic Newsroom

House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a comment Wednesday following the release of a study which found that Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery was not associated with an increase in the state’s vaccination rate. 

“Vax-a-Million further exposed what we already knew — that we’ve got our work cut out for us, and it will take more than monetary incentives to get the job done. We need to target campaigns to higher-risk populations, reduce vaccine hesitancy and boost vaccination rates for the most vulnerable Ohioans,” said Leader Sykes. “Ohio’s leaders need to learn from what’s working in the dozens of states ahead of us. Gov. DeWine would be wise to lean on the experts at the Ohio Department of Health and our local health departments who can begin to address the root causes of what is holding us back from reaching the vaccination level we need to be at to put this virus behind us.”

Leader Sykes’s full comments were published in a June 24 Op-Ed in the Columbus Dispatch in which she called on Gov. DeWine to combat vaccine hesitancy and increase access for vulnerable populations as better ways to improve Ohio’s vaccination rate than a monetary incentive like Vax-a-Million.

Read the full text of Leader Sykes’ Columbus Dispatch Op-Ed: Vax-A-Million no silver bullet. DeWine needs to lean on the experts.

Ohio’s vaccination rate has consistently lagged behind the national average, including neighboring states such as Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Nearly 55 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to just 48 percent of Ohioans. 78 percent of Ohioans on Medicaid, 69 percent of Black Ohioans, and 62 percent of Latinx Ohioans still have not been vaccinated.