The Michigan vaccination raffle gimmick that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) touted failed to motivate many residents to get the shot for a chance to win millions in prizes.
“Less than 37,000 people in Michigan have gotten their first dose of a COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] vaccine since the start of the program,” titled MI Shot to Win, which was announced July 1, NBC 25 reported.
Eager to change the subject from her scandals, Whitmer held a festive press conference shortly before the July 4 holiday weekend, promising the chance to win millions in tax dollars to those who registered after they received a coronavirus vaccine, including $50,000 daily drawings.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Whitmer was aiming to use the gimmick to reach her goal of 70 percent of residents receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. The objective was to raise the rate by 9 percentage points, or 768,000 newly vaccinated Michiganders.
Alas, the scheme fell more than 95 percent short of its goal.
“We’re not seeing our numbers skyrocket like we hoped,” Kalamazoo County Health Officer Jim Rutherford lamented to NBC 25.
“We’re not seeing a terrible demand for the vaccine, and we’ve tried a lot of different approaches and I was hopeful that this lottery would increase that but just haven’t seen anything yet that would signify a significant increase.”
The news station noted such raffle gimmicks “did nothing to improve vaccination rates when compared to trends in other states.”
Whitmer said during the announcement Ohio was the first state to offer financial giveaways to get the vaccine approved for emergency use. But, she claimed, Michigan was going to do it “bigger and better,” the Oakland Press reported.
A study of the Ohio scheme found no difference in the growth of vaccination rates after the creation of the raffle.
“The study did not find evidence that a lottery-based incentive in Ohio was associated with increased rates of adult COVID-19 vaccinations,” the study authors wrote, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
“In contrast, the analyses suggest that the rate of decline in vaccinations slowed to a greater extent in the US than in Ohio after the May 12 lottery announcement.”
Despite the taxpayer-funded giveaway and Whitmer pep talk, 62.4 percent of Michiganders are vaccinated.