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DeWine visits African American Chamber vax site, touts 45% jump in vaccination rate

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Posted at 6:26 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 21:03:27-04

CINCINNATI — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine visited Cincinnati Friday to give an update on COVID-19 vaccination numbers.

He spoke at the African American Chamber of Commerce’s pop-up vaccination clinic.

“Very good news today,” DeWine said.

State Sen. Cecil Thomas, state Rep. Catherine Ingram, Hamilton County and city of Cincinnati leaders joined him as he announced a 45% increase in vaccinations in the state since the previous week.

In that time, he rolled out the Vax-a-Million lottery that allows vaccinated Ohioans to submit their names for a chance at a million-dollar prize.

“We had seen it drop like that, the number of people that had been vaccinated,” said Gov. DeWine, motioning downward. “So, we had to do something. So, on a conference call, Ann O’Donnell, who’s been with me many, many years, said, ‘Okay. How about a lottery?’”

He said he kept coming back to that idea.

“I kind of mapped out different ways that we could possibly do it,” said Gov. DeWine. “Then, someone said, ‘What are we going to do with kids?’ And someone said, ‘Let’s do scholarships.’.”

His team is offering a full-ride scholarship to teens who sign up. They will be able to attend any college or university in the state.

“I knew people were going to say, ‘Mike DeWine’s crazy. Mike DeWine has wasted a lot of money.’ But, you know what’s really a waste is if someone gets COVID now when we have a way not to get it,” DeWine said.

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Senior Reporter Larry Seward is focusing his reporting on the COVID-19 vaccine to bring you answers and information. Contact Larry at 513-667-4804 or larry.seward@wcpo.com.