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Study: Lottery-based incentives don’t increase vaccination rates

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2021 at 4:59 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Those who get the COVID vaccine in Kentucky still have a chance to win a million dollars or a full-ride scholarship to college, but a new study suggests that lottery-based incentives to boost vaccination rates do not work.

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine looked at vaccination rates in Ohio before and after the implementation of the state’s Vax-a-Million lottery-based incentive system. They then used CDC data to compare the rates to other states that did not yet have vaccine incentive lottery programs. The scientists found the Vax-a-Million system did not lead to an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations. Those who wrote the study said they hoped their findings would lead to increased investment in programs that target vaccine hesitancy.

The point of Team Kentucky’s Shot at a Million is to increase Kentucky’s vaccination rate.

“The groups that we are trying to reach are some of the hardest to reach,” Gov. Andy Beshear said.

Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman said lottery incentives have worked based on Kentucky’s vaccination rates.

“After we announced our first million-dollar winner, we saw it jump again because it became real to folks,” Coleman said. “You never know what’s going to incentivize people to get the vaccine, but this is something we were willing to invest in and try for the sake of getting our vaccination rates up. So far, it’s worked.”

Beshear said when he first announced the Shot at a Million drawing more than a month ago, more than 121,000 Kentuckians received the COVID vaccine.

Kentucky announced its first round of winners on July 3. Most of the winners got the vaccine outside of being incentivized.

WAVE 3 News reached out to Beshear’s office, Coleman’s office, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to see how many more people have been vaccinated since the first million-dollar winner was announced last week, but they did not provide that information as of Tuesday.

The next Shot at a Million announcement is July 30 and Aug. 27. To sign up, click here.

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