Data: Ohio Department of Health; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios
It's been nearly a month since the Vax-2-School lottery was announced, yet no drawings are scheduled and Ohio's COVID-19 vaccination rate remains stagnant.
Why it matters: The latest attempt at a vaccine lottery was meant to target younger Ohioans who have the lowest vaccination rates in the state.
Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
Catch up quick: The Vax-2-School lottery, which mirrored the Vax-A-Million scholarship drawings in earlier 2021, was announced Sept. 23 to offer scholarship money to vaccinated residents between 12-25 years old.
The state announced a random draw of 150 $10,000 scholarships and five grand prize winners of $100,000. Paid for by coronavirus relief funding, the scholarships can be used at any Ohio college, university or trade school.
These new drawings were initially slated for mid-October, but have since been postponed indefinitely.
By the numbers: Ohio has not registered any major uptick in vaccinations since Vax-2-School was announced.
Among all Ohioans eligible for the lottery, the vaccination rate is up just 2%.
Over the past month, the overall vax rate has increased by a single percentage point.
Context: The vaccine lottery was announced on the same day the Ohio Hospitals Association warned of a "dire situation in our state" with rising COVID cases and hospitalizations.
In a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine, the association noted "the increasing stress that Ohio’s hospitals are under in dealing with the rapid increase in COVID-19 patients."
Hospitals had recorded a 16-fold increase in COVID patients between mid-July and Sept. 23.
These patients trended younger than at any earlier point in the pandemic.
What's next: Ohio Department of Health spokesperson Alicia Shoults tells Axios that they want to allow time for a vaccine emergency use authorization for Ohioans aged 5-11 to make them eligible before holding the lottery.
Yes, but: Researchers have once again poured cold water on the effectiveness of vaccine lottery programs.
Driving the news: A new study by four economics and health policy professors concluded the earlier Ohio Vax-A-Million drawings, and similar incentives from other states, did little to impact vaccination rates.
Earlier research has offered mixed reviews on lottery programs.
Vax-A-Million was launched as vaccine eligibility expanded to include teenagers, which may have been a greater contributor to the spike seen last spring.
Why it matters: Ohio may need to find alternative ways to convince the large swath of vaccine skeptics to get their shots.Flashback: The Vax-A-Million sweepstakes was the first of its kind, promising seven-figure rewards to a handful of vaccinated Ohioans.
Many other states followed, some spreading out rewards to a wider number of winners. DeWine preferred to give away a select few grand prizes.
What they said: In a New York Times opinion column, DeWine quoted former Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck: “To give one can of beer to a thousand people is not nearly as much fun as to give 1,000 cans of beer to one guy.”
What researchers found: The study reviewed months of vaccine data from 19 states which created lottery programs and determined there was little effect on vaccine rates.
"Estimates of the association between an announcement and vaccination rates were very small in magnitude and statistically indistinguishable from zero," per a summary of the results.
Researchers suggested lottery-style drawings may be less effective than automatic incentives for vaccinated Americans.
Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.