DeWine, ODH keep focus on COVID-19 vaccine incentives, not mandates

Gov. Mike DeWine said his administration and the Ohio Department of Health are continuing to explore COVID-19 vaccine incentives; however he’s doesn’t support the state mandating the vaccine.

“I’ve opposed mandating that anyone get vaccinated or saying they could not mandate getting vaccinated,” he said. “There is a limit to where government should go. There’s a limit to what the state government should be doing. We should stay focused on trying to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

Though the governor didn’t offer specifics on possible vaccine incentives, he said the state is looking at new ways to encourage people to get vaccinated.

“We’re thinking of other options,” DeWine said, noting the Vax-a-Million lottery worked “exceedingly well for about 14 days.”

The state has also reached out to local health departments offering to pay for monetary incentives. Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County is offering $100 gift cards to people who are receiving their first dose of the vaccine.

When asked about his opinion on requiring vaccines for first responders, DeWine said it’s a decision best left to the city or township.

He added that it should be up to a business, hospital or university if they want to mandate the vaccine or create their own testing policy.

“If a hospital feels that they want to require everyone to be vaccinated they ought to be able to do it,” the governor said. “I feel the same way about a university...Government should not get in the way of those people who are charged and have the ultimate responsibility.”

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