Ohio expands vaccine lottery program to $2M, ages 5-11

Ohio

FILE – In this Nov. 18, 2020 file photo, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during a news briefing in Columbus, Ohio. Dan Tierney, a DeWine spokesperson, said Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, “We are hopeful the enhanced incentive encourages any individuals on the fence regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.” Nearly 900 state employees and more than 200 of their spouses took advantage of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s vaccine incentive offer after he rolled it out last month, records show. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins, File)

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) — Ohio has doubled the amount of money for its new Vax-to-College program Friday to $2 million and plans to expand the age range to include children 5 years and older once the vaccine is authorized for them at the end of the month.

The announcement comes as health officials across the state have been sounding the alarm on the rate of younger patients becoming sick and hospitalized with COVID-19. The overwhelming number of those patients are unvaccinated.

The program initially targeted residents ages 12-25 who received the coronavirus vaccine but the state is now awaiting the FDA emergency use authorization for the Pfizer shot expected in late October to include 5 to 11-year-olds.

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