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How Michiganders are feeling about the Ohio governor's 'crazy' vaccine incentives

It's 'a shot' at $1 million and full-ride scholarships
Posted at 4:56 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 18:26:56-04

(WXYZ) — A new plan from Ohio Republican Gov. Mike Dewine is being met with praise and criticism. For adults, it’s a shot at a million bucks and for teens a full-ride, four-year university scholarship.

Ohio’s vaccination rate is lagging at 41%, and herd immunity is 70%.

A few weeks ago, 7 Action News posed the question on our Facebook page asking what incentives you would want in order to get the vaccine.

Gov. Dewine announced his plan on Wednesday.

“I know some of you now are shaking your head and saying, 'that Mike Dewine, he’s crazy. This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money,'" the Ohio governor said.

We played that clip to people in Detroit and asked: do you think he’s crazy?

“Ah no. He’s serious about getting everyone vaccinated,” said James Evans, a resident who got the COVID vaccine.

Wayne State University graduate student Ryan Whitfield said it's a great incentive.

“I think it’s really cool," Whitfield said. "I don’t think it’s that costly for the state because it’s only five people. It would be a great way to motivate people.”

One part of the Ohio plan is for adults who are vaccinated to enter to win $1 million in five drawings over five weeks. The other plan is for 12- to 17-year-olds to enter to win the full-ride scholarship at any Ohio university.

One true blue Michigan guy in downtown Detroit didn’t want to reveal his name. He’s a big "no" on the vaccine for now saying, “Unless we know we’re going to treat the vaccine as a reasonable solution, and that it works, and I can take my mask off and go back to normal, then I’ll get it.”

Another Michigan resident also expressed doubt for the vaccine.

“I know what’s in a million dollars. I don’t know what’s in the vaccine,” said Daniel Buchanan.

While other residents wonder why can't Michigan do the same?

“If Ohio’s doing it why can’t Michigan do it?” asked Ryann Price, who got his first shot today.

Dr. Sean Valles is the director of the Michigan State Center for Bioethics and Social Justice. He tells 7 Action News, “I like the idea of sort of tying into the broader cultural effort to try to build up enthusiasm and a sense of public support around this idea and normalizing the idea of getting vaccinated. The endpoint is something that’s really important. So, I don’t see this as being not worth the money necessarily.”

7 Action News asked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer if this is a good or bad idea. Her office sent us to the Protect Michigan Commission. They gave us this statement:

"We know that the most significant incentive to getting a vaccine is to be able to get back to normal and do the things we love with our friends and families. We've seen Michigan businesses step up to provide fun incentives to those Michiganders who have received a vaccine. We're always thinking of innovative ways to encourage Michiganders to get vaccinated."