EDITORIAL: Initiative appears to be hitting the jackpot

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 22, 2021

When Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state’s lottery to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it was greeted with a mixed reaction.

Some praised it, while other sectors, particularly talk radio, mocked it as a gimmick.

While the idea of “Get the shot, win fabulous prizes” may seem hokey to some and one would think the merits of not getting a deadly respiratory virus would be incentive enough to get the vaccine, the data shows that it has actually had a positive effect on numbers.

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Last Friday, more than 25,400 shots were administered in the state, the highest numbers the state had seen in three weeks.

Before DeWine’s announcement of the $5 million for getting the shots, the state had been seeing numbers decline and vaccine hesitancy setting in. It appears the lottery ploy is turning that around and the slowdown has been stopped.

In order to end the pandemic and to keep the virus from circulating and mutating into variants, it is necessary for everyone who can get the shot to do so.

If creating a giveaway for five $1 million prizes is what prods those who are lagging into finally getting a vaccine, then, by all means, let’s do so. We commend Gov. DeWine for this initiative.

Here in Lawrence County, vaccination rates have been some of the lowest in the state. While our county health department has worked diligently to provide the vaccines to all who want them, sadly, the demand has slowed and not as many people are dropping by the clinics.

We would like to remind everyone that the vaccine is free and safe and urge the public to please schedule an appointment.

And the age of vaccinations has now been lowered to those 12 and up, so please make the effort to have your child protected from the virus.

Things have been moving in the right direction as cases drop around the state, but, in order to make sure the trend continues, it is imperative for those who have held out to make the right move and get vaccinated.