As US political leaders grow increasingly desperate to persuade Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Wednesday topped offers of baseball tickets and beer with a 1 million prize drawing.
Ohio offers 1 million
DeWine, a Republican, said five Ohio residents would win the money in once-a-week drawings for adults who have received at least one dose of the now-plentiful vaccines. The funds will come from federal pandemic relief funds.
“I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money, ‘”the governor said on Twitter. “But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic – when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it – is a life lost to Covid-19.”
Starting on May 26th, we will announce a winner of a drawing for adults who have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.
This announcement will occur each Wednesday for five weeks, and the winner each Wednesday will receive $ 1 million.
– Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) May 13, 2021
Roughly 117 million Americans, more than one-third of the US population, had been fully inoculated as of Wednesday, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
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The pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks due to ambivalence or skepticism about the medication and declining infections. The number of Americans seeking vaccinations has dropped by a third in recent weeks, according to the CDC.
New Jersey and Connecticut have made deals with bars and brewpubs to offer a free drink to the newly vaccinated. Maryland state employees who get inoculated are offered 100 dollars.
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Mets and Yankees baseball clubs would hand out free tickets to fans who got inoculated at their parks before games.
60.9% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 50.4% have completed their vaccine series.
-111,885 doses were administered over past 24 hours
-17,166,220 doses administered to date pic.twitter.com/NlTZ9GU9no
– Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 13, 2021
Many US states were expected this week to begin inoculating children aged 12 to 15 with the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE after a CDC panel approved the plan earlier on Wednesday.
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No masks for fully vaccinated people
Despite an apparent reduction in vaccination, this Thursday the CDC modified its guide to recommendations and use of masks.
The new guidelines allow people who are already fully vaccinated to stop using the masks outdoors and indoors.
The use of the masks was recommended only when traveling by public transport, airplanes or trains, or when visiting airports or public stations.