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Michigan legislator questions effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine lottery


A west Michigan legislator is questioning the effectiveness of the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes.

The national and state standard for reaching herd immunity is a 70% vaccination rate. Michigan is currently at 63%. With most residents who wanted a COVID-19 vaccine receiving one, the state is encouraging the unvaccinated by following Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery launching the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes July 1st.

Vaccinated Michiganders can register to win one of a number of prizes from the $5 million jackpot.

Since July 1, more than 233,000 Michiganders have received a dose. That’s 2.4% of the more than 9.2 million total vaccines administered in the state.

State Representative Mark Huizenga said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claims to make decisions based on evidence and data, but this effort is not supported by the numbers.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate in using taxpayer dollars for something that’s not really efficacious," said the Walker Republican, citing a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study indicating incentive-based lotteries don’t increase vaccination rates.

“There is no statistical difference between what happens in a state with a lottery and those that don’t.”

Kerry Ebersole-Singh directs the Protect Michigan Commission, which advises the governor on pandemic policies. “We are doing exactly what we need to do to support the public health in our state,” she said.

Ebersole Singh said deploying a sweepstakes is just one of a number of educational community engagements used for explaining how the vaccine protects everyone.