How effective have vaccine lotteries been so far?


DENVER (KDVR) — Even as states are incentivizing residents with chances to become a millionaire, data shows the lottery payout isn’t enough to raise vaccination rates in Colorado and across the country.

Colorado is offering $6 million worth of prizes for vaccinated individuals. It joins another dozen states in similar efforts, all aimed at spurring citizens to get vaccinated.

While vaccine prizes have certainly spurred Coloradans to check their lottery eligibility, they haven’t driven people into vaccination clinics neither in Colorado, nor in states with vaccine prizes or in the United States at large.

Both state- and nationwide, we are currently seeing the lowest vaccination rates since January.

The programs were only announced in late May at the earliest and so far have not had much time to generate public excitement. Still, public health records show little impact in the states that have implemented vaccine prize programs.

Colorado’s program, announced May 25, has not yet interrupted the state’s sustained downward slide in vaccination rates since their peak in April.

The number of daily Colorado vaccines has tumbled nearly 40,000 a day on average since April.

As of June 1, the 7-day average for daily vaccines was 15,500. The state’s average daily vaccination totals haven’t been that low since mid-January.

The Colorado vaccine lottery announcement did not slow the rate of decline in vaccinations. There are 12,000 fewer daily vaccinations now than when Gov. Jared Polis announced the lottery on May 25.

None of the other states that offer vaccine prizes have seen their downward vaccine demand halt, either.

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and data compiled by the Washington Post, none of the states that offer vaccine rewards have seen upward trends in vaccination rates.

In the most recent weeks, the states that offer vaccine rewards have seen daily vaccinations fall an average 38% from the week before. Only Delaware, which is offering vaccine scholarships, hasn’t seen a week-over-week vaccine rate decline of greater than 30%.

Nor have vaccine programs interrupted the nation’s trend.

The United States administered an average 690,000 vaccines on June 1. That’s the lowest 7-day vaccination average to be seen since January 7.

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