OHIO — In an effort to get more people to take the COVID-19 vaccine, a campaign in Ohio is offering Medicaid recipients $100.
A campaign by Ohio's Medicaid Managed Care plans is offering Medicaid members who get the vaccination shot by Sept. 15 a gift card worth $100.
The campaign, which launched in June to get 900,000 additional Medicaid vaccinations, initially offered members $50 gift cards and had an Aug. 15 deadline.
"The effort has taken on new urgency as Ohio continues to lag most other states in vaccination rates and as the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, believed to be significantly more contagious than other variants, spreads," according to a press release by the Ohio Association of Health Plans.
While nationally, 66.9% of Americans ages 12 and over have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only 58% of Ohioans ages 12 and up have gotten a shot, according to CDC data.
The fear is that, given a large enough unvaccinated population in which to spread, existing viruses will mutate into a variant that is resistant to the vaccines, the press release states.
“We need to get ahead of these variants before there is one that the vaccines do not protect us against,” said Kelly O’Reilly, president and chief executive officer of the Ohio Association of Health Plans in the press release.
Ohio's Managed Care plans include Aetna, Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Molina Healthcare, ParamountAdvantage, and UnitedHealthCare.